Contemplative Practice, Self-compassion, Whimsical Watercolors, Wonder and Whimsy

Coloring: A Contemplative Practice

It may seem odd to suggest that coloring is a contemplative practice. After all, the phrase contemplative practice sounds very grown-up, serious, and even mysterious.

Coloring, on the other hand, is child’s play, lighthearted, and easy as a walk in the park on a sunny day.

Can coloring really be contemplative?

Contemplative practices are activities or habits that help us connect with that part of us in which our potential lies, and they help us become more compassionate, creative, wise, and loving versions of ourselves. You can read more about them here.

One of the benefits of contemplative practices is that they often help us clear a space in our minds and hearts for a Wisdom that is bigger than us to become present in our lives.

You can think of this Wisdom in both a non-religious and religious way. If you are religious, you can think of it as the Wisdom that comes from the light of God in each of us.

You and the Universe #2 (2)

If you are not religious, you can think of it as the Wisdom that comes from our highest human potential.

All of us have the ability to become more wise, loving, creative, and compassionate versions of ourselves, just like we have the ability to become more intelligent, musical, athletic, or friendly. All of these abilities are part of the structures of the physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects of our humanity.

Being Hospitable to Our Light

Frequently in order to hear the calling of our potential or the light within each of us (I will refer to it as Light from here on out), we must create space for it and clear away the noise, anxiety, stress, and rush of our daily lives. Clearing space is an act of hospitality, and our Light loves to be welcomed.

Coloring is one way you can create space and be hospitable to your Light. When you color, especially some patterns like recurring geometric patterns, your mind slows down and clears, and you create a meditative state of mind. You can read more about this here.

We often think that meditating must be a very serious affair in which we sit on our meditation cushions and force ourselves to be completely still, quiet, and thought-free for hours on end.

There’s nothing wrong with meditating like this. But if you struggle with that kind of meditation, it may encourage you to know that you can meditate through playful and simple activities like walking, roller skating, hula-hooping…

Hooping and Gorge #1

…looking at trees, or coloring.

Trees

Meditating is ultimately about slowing down, breathing, being kind to yourself, and creating space. Any activity that allows you to do that is a meditative activity.

I Created a Coloring Page for You

So in case you would like to spend some time today coloring and creating meditative space, I created a coloring page for you. I have been thinking a lot about owls lately because we have a little owl who sometimes hoots in our backyard at night. I like thinking about him, so here is a magical rendition of him.

Owl #3

You can print this page out; get your favorite pens, paints, or crayons; and color it in whatever way speaks to you and delights you. While you color, give yourself permission to calm down, to breathe deeply (ideally through your nose and out your mouth, to enjoy color, and to think about nothing at all or whatever comes to mind. Please feel free to make multiple copies of this page to share with a friend, if you like.

Peace to you, Friend.

*****

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10 thoughts on “Coloring: A Contemplative Practice”

  1. Colouring your page would be a very happy contemplative practice. 🙂 Weeding the garden is my usual one – makes me feel very peaceful and at one with the world.

    1. I really appreciate that kind comment! I am not an expert in this topic, by any means, but I am a student and occasional teacher of Asian Philosophy–especially Buddhism and Hinduism–and I have done some research in this area.

  2. Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.|

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