Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fear the Mandala Coloring Books

So I can't tell if this article is a joke or not. The site I found it on appears to be serious, but if so it means that the poster is a serious idiot. Apparently "adult coloring books" are now a thing, and the poster is a Christian who is all worried because some of them contain mandalas found in the Buddhist tradition. This is a problem because, apparently, coloring a mandala is the same thing to this person as performing actual tantric Buddhist practices - which, since said person is a nut, are of course Satanic.

A mandala is that beautiful circle pattern that looks like it would be impossible to draw free hand. It is also 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.” (Wikipedia).

A mandala is used in tantric Buddhism as an aid to meditation. They meditate on the image until they are saturated by it. They believe that you can merge with the deity by meditating on the mandala. “A mandala is also visualized (dhyana) by the yogin whose aim it is to merge with the deity.”

Focusing on mandalas is a spiritual practice where you merge with “deities”–this practice opens the door to demons.

The thing is, how is the devil going to get Christians to meditate on mandalas?

No Christian would put one in their house and sit and stare at it for an hour, chanting the sacred word!

But if the enemy can get a Christian to stare at a mandala because they are coloring it, he can have them absentmindedly focus their attention on the image and they will unknowingly open up their subconscious to this image in almost the same way.

There are a couple of problems with this idea. First off, I have no concept of why anyone would be interested in an "adult coloring book." I hated coloring when I was a kid and I've never really been able to see the appeal. But to each their own, I suppose. Second, tantric Buddhist practice requires empowerment from a lama, a mantra, a specific meditation technique, and a whole series of complex visualizations that I'm pretty sure nobody is going to be doing sitting at a table coloring. You have to do all of that together for it to count as spiritual practice.

So it's not the same at all, and I suspect this individual only thinks so because they don't understand Buddhist practice at all. To be fair, it sounds like in their world that understanding Buddhist practice would be the same as worshiping the Devil, and of course they can't have that. But they need to understand that mandalas aren't magic - that is, "magic" as in fantasy novel bullshit. They don't "open portals to demons" just by appearing on a page, even if they had anything to do with Christian demons in the first place.

So as I said, I hope it's a joke, but the more nonsense from these Poor Oppressed clowns I see, the less hope I hold out for much of humanity. That mandala I have at the top of this article is that of Chenrezig, the bodhisattva of compassion. If mandalas work the way this poster says they do, maybe it will somehow help just by sitting there.

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1 comment:

cousin of Blufli said...

As an artist who paints and draws almost daily, I can understand merging with your art, or intention. You have to be able to do that to create it...but to color something you didn't create, is the difference between swimming in your bathtub and swimming in the Ocean. When I'm painting, outsiders (people who don't do art) will say, "that looks so relaxing". It's not. It's intense concentration. It's meditation. But I agree, the magic isn't there unless you put it in. What people are doing when they're coloring, is more akin to painting houses...or watching TV. Now that's where the devil will get ya.