Of course following the repetitive patterns could induce a very relaxed, meditative-like state. Of course when your brain and senses relax to that extent, you will have your guard down. Of course some real creative ideas may slip in and you may follow up on them and be hugely successful. Alternatively, you may just see your current problems in a different light and realize that there may also be different solutions. All of this is possible.
It is also possible that colouring in the repetitive patterns of these mandalas will result in the person feeling that they are floating and separate from their bodies. Of course they will not leave their bodies, because their souls are firmly anchored in their physical bodies until they eventually leave their bodies when they die.
You may say that in the above there are too many “of courses”. I wanted to make the point that no matter what you do repetitively to induce such a relaxed state, the consequences could be the same. You can achieve the same effect by setting an alarm on your mobile phone, closing your eyes and focusing entirely on your breathing. You can do the same by listening to any recorded meditation, whether it is only music or guided by voice.
So what is the big deal?
I read an article about these adult colouring books and how the use of an innocent mandala can open the door for the devil to come and possess your soul. And not just any devil – or even just one devil. We are talking about a serious invasion of a variety of deities from Eastern religions and philosophies such as Buddhism or Hinduism.
According to the article “becoming one” with any of these mandalas – because apparently that is the main purpose of using a mandala - opens the door to spirituality and Divine experiences, and apparently these experiences are taboo for any Christians. And to make it abundantly clear, these “offensive” colouring books are evil even if they are sold in Christian bookshops.
Does this mean using meditation by any means and adult colouring books filled with mandalas are out of bounds to all Christians, or only to those who see the devil in everything? It is up to them to decide.
Of course prayer remains an option for them. In my definition prayer is a means of talking to God, and meditation is a means of listening to God. I am not saying that people who do not meditate have no means of listening to God. Instead, I am saying that if you do have a means of listening to God, maybe ask Him/Her about using mandalas, and listen to the answer.
This reminded me of the church minister who in my young days warned me against the evil of yoga, whose practitioners burn candles and use Sanskrit words that have no meaning to ordinary people.
I really struggle to see the evil in a burning candle, no matter who lit it or for what reason. Yes, staring into the candle flame for a long time may also induce a meditative state, which may also lead to creative ideas flowing into your brain. I have yet to find a person who gained creative ideas in this way and used them for the destruction of humanity.
As for yoga, my only regret relates to the years when I did not do yoga rather than stay with the practice. I have after a few years of hiatus taken up the practice again, and I now realize how much more flexible my body would have been if I had the discipline to never have a break from it. Now it is hard, but really satisfying, work to get those bones and muscles active again. I will not give up the practice again. And no, I did not stop at any point because I am scared of the devil. I simply stopped because life focused me elsewhere and I did not at the time realize what I was losing.
That same church minister is much older than I am, and now hobbling around on two crutches, nursing a heart condition. I am slowly, week by week, getting my balance back and getting closer to doing a headstand again. And I still don’t understand a word of the Sanskrit that the teachers use, but I do know that my back muscles are also getting more flexible.
To each their own (devil and deity), I suppose.