Q & A with Sharon Seyfarth Garner

Mandalas and Contemplative Coloring

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For those unfamiliar with mandalas and/or contemplative coloring, briefly describe what each is and why you’ve written a book centered on them.

Contemplative coloring is a general term used to describe the process of coloring in a meditative and prayerful way. You can do contemplative coloring with any coloring design.

Praying with mandalas is a specific type of contemplative coloring. It is an invitation to color simple prayer mandalas that have been designed to keep us centered in God’s presence and focused on a specific method of contemplative prayer. Each prayer mandala template has been carefully created to correlate with one of the four contemplative practices highlighted in the book– lectio divina, intercessory prayer, centering prayer, and the daily Examen.

As people use these mandala designs multiple times and become more familiar with the methods of prayer associated with them, the mandalas become a visual touchstone that condition them to move more smoothly and comfortably into a particular method of prayer. Using a single design more than once is quite different from using a regular coloring book that has many different designs to color. The familiarity of these designs becomes a gift in and of itself.

Praying with Mandalas includes 10 copies each of four different designs. Once these 40 days of prayer are completed, the book will have been transformed into a beautiful visual prayer journal of 40 unique, personal, and sacred works of art.