We are all getting more and more stressed with life. Between a busy career, a demanding family, a strain on your finances, ISIS terrorists going on the rampage, and keeping up with the Kardashians, there is a lot going on around you to make that blood pressure spike.
So before you have that heart attack, we need to find something to bring you back down to earth with a gentle plop. Something to push all the worries and fears of the world away. Yes adults, get out your coloring pencils and get ready to rumble! We’re going to do some coloring in!
What Is Mandala?
If you feel you are in a rut, you may think there is no way out of it. But if you work to access higher levels of consciousness, then you will end up opening your mind to new realities. A reality where you feel you can do anything, be anybody, and not be restricted by rules and boundaries. To have access to knowledge and wisdom beyond all understanding and awareness.
But we are not going to be coloring in Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh. Rather, we are going to work on some very intricate patterns called Mandala.
What is Mandala? I think I can’t explain it any better than Wikipedia.
Mandala (Sanskrit – ‘circle’) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian religions, representing the universe. In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe.
Here is an example of Mandala, but you would be excused for thinking that this was Austin Powers’ bedroom wallpaper. It’s also a bit trippy if you stare at it for too long.
Tibetan Buddhists have taken Mandala and turned it into sandpainting. In an episode of the political Netflix thriller “House of Cards“, Tibetan monks visit the White House to make a mandala out of sand – and when they are finished, they then destroy it. This is to signify that the end result is not important, only the process is.
The Benefits of Doing It
This isn’t just a case of coloring in a few pretty pictures, getting crayon all over your face, and reverting back to being an infant for a few hours. Done properly, this can have serious positive impacts on your health, including lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, better focus and concentration, kick-starting your creativity, and overcoming any mental blocks you might be experiencing.
Basically, you’ll be one laidback chilled out dude, like this guy here.
It all comes down to the fact that while doing the coloring, you are putting yourself into a calm meditative state. You are concentrating on the task at hand, so all external distractions are pushed to one side. Mandala designs are very precise designs, so coloring them requires intense focus.
8 Sites for Downloading Printable Mandala Patterns
If you Google the word “Mandala”, then you will get countless designs which you can send to the printer, ready for your coloring pencils. But there are also sites where you can download some interesting patterns. Let’s take a look at 8 of them.
This was the first website I found while looking for mandala images to color in, and they have 10 beautiful ones. You have to provide an email address to subscribe, and you will be sent the download link (if you don’t want to reveal your email address, just use a disposable email).
In the zip file provided, there are PDF’s for 10 images, and you also get a music file of relaxing piano music to listen to while you are…”mandalaling”?
What I really like about this page is that the designs are not too complicated. So this would be an ideal site for a beginner to dip their feet in the mandala water. Clicking on each design opens up the larger JPG image, and if the ones on the page are not enough for you, head to the “Related Posts” section at the bottom of the page for more mandala design pages.
Mandala designs have sometimes been called “Adult Pattern Coloring”, but I don’t see why this is. Sure, the designs are a bit more complicated than your average child’s Winnie the Pooh coloring book, but there is absolutely no reason why children can’t do mandalas too. They just have to focus more – which might actually be a challenge for some children, now that I think about it.
As you head towards the bottom of the page, you will encounter character images for children, which (to me anyway) are not mandalas. But the ones before most definitely are.
If you want mandala designs, one of the best places to go is Pinterest. I mean, that is the ultimate social media depository of images isn’t it? You just have to be careful though as some of the images are pinned from someone’s commercial online store. So you can’t color it in then show it around online. You might get a nasty email from the owner after that. So check the source of the image very carefully before starting.
This Pinterest page has 330 images (“pins”) at the time of writing, and range from a patterned skull to butterflies. Again, the page owner has mysteriously also added non-mandala kid-friendly characters. So just ignore those.
As well as a print coloring book which you can buy from the site, Print Mandala has over 50 free images to choose from. No cartoon characters in this one, just pure mandalas.
But what I really like about this site is that they reveal the online tool used to make their mandalas – and it is totally free to use. It’s called Color Mandala, and it is very easy to use. After just ten minutes of playing around with it, I came up with this. Not stunning by any stretch of the imagination, but hey, it’s a start.
Free Mandalas has just under 180 free designs for you to choose from. You can choose via the difficulty level, or by theme. If you choose the theme, they have a section called “Zen & Anti-stress“, which has a mixture of easy and rather difficult complex ones. It depends on how un-stressed you want to be!
The Buddha Center [No Longer Available]
These designs are provided free of charge from the excellent site “Don’t Eat The Paste“, but are reproduced by permission by the Buddha Center, a place which prepares people who have serious intentions in becoming a Buddhist. This means that the mandala section has some obligatory Buddha statues in it to color in. So be respectful and don’t give Buddha a red nose!
I saved one of the best for last – this site has 274 images at the time of writing (with more on the way), and are minutely categorized. So you will find it a breeze to find what you are looking for. Images run the gamut from simple to extremely difficult, and you can quite literally spend months on this site coloring in.
Since this site is run by a German in Germany, some parts of the site are in German. But you don’t need to know the language to click on an image and download it, do you?
Ready With Those Pencils….Get Set…!
I hope these websites and the background information has inspired you to try a mandala design for the first time. I would only caution you to be respectful of copyrights at all times, if you intend to put your finished colored mandala on the web. Many mandala designers quite rightly demand attribution (or they forbid publication outright). So check the site before uploading it to Facebook or wherever.
Let us know some other online sources for mandalas. Plus, did you try the mandala creation tool? If so, show us your designs!