88 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2005
I am so glad Fincher brought out this second book! I had already worked through the first book and taken such pleasure in it. Yes, the first one is good, but, for my purposes, the second one is even better.
It's made with the same high-quality paper that takes the colour so well and the same lie-flat spiral binding that makes colouring easy. There's a helpful little essay at the beginning explaining the author's theories concerning the mandala and why it can be so helpful both therapeutically and spiritually.
The designs are what make this book a standout! And there are so many of them: seventy-two in all! What abundance! Each one is a detailed and beautiful work of art, even before you start laying the colour down. Snowflakes, cathedral windows, tribal amulets: you will be inspired just by looking at these mandalas.
I often colour a mandala on my day off, in the afternoon, when the sun is slanting in just so. I open the book at random, and look at the mandala for awhile before getting a sense of what colour to start with. I never know what will be the end result until I've laid down the last stroke. And I always title and date the mandalas.
A hot bath, a glass of wine, a long walk on the nature trail and colouring. I love to colour, and this book gives me a lot of scope for creativity in colour design, as well as making me feel connected to past cultures.
Just a note: I did the entire first volume with a large box (48 colour set) of Prismacolor pencils and was so pleased with the results. The more colours you have, the more you can experiment. And go to an art store and get yourself a couple of nice, hand-held pencil sharpeners: you are going to need them. Many of the designs are quite intricate and detailed.
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2005
When I was a little girl, my parents had bought me several coloring books that included wonderful geometric shapes - I absolutely loved them! Well, one day last year I got to thinking about how much I loved these particular coloring books, and since I remembered them being quite difficult back then, I started wondering if I might like to get some more and start coloring again.
I went on a long and arduous search to find these books (once I get an idea in my mind, I'm like a pit bull until I follow through), but none of the bookstores I went to had any idea of what I was talking about. Then I happened to do a search on Amazon, and found this mandala coloring book. Although it isn't exactly the same as what I remember, I fell in love with the beautiful shapes included on each page.
Plus, I got a bonus, as I had never heard of a "mandala" before, and the author gives some info. re: this at the start of this book.
I love to sit down with my colored pencils or gel pens, and let the stress melt away as I let my creative mind take over. I honestly feel like a kid again - and I love that!
If you are an adult looking for a creative outlet, someone who's interested in mandalas, and/or one who just simply loves coloring, then this book is for you!
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
"A mandala is a circular design that grows out of the urge to know oneself and one's place in the cosmos...Mandalas exopress completeness and invite us to experience ourselves as a whole being, and individual." --Susanne F. Fincher in Creating Mandals 2 - For Balancing, Harmony, and Spiritual Well-Being
Mandalas have been used as a part of spiritual contemplation, ritual, and self discovery since ancient times. Spanning across many cultures, the use of mandalas in architecture, art, and sculpture shows that all humans share common concerns, experiences, and curiosity as to their place in the world. Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw mandalas as evidence of a dynamic urge towards individuation--the process where an individual carves out a unique identity.
An American art therapist named Joan Kellogg, in association with psychiatrist Francisco DiLeo, conceptualized 12 stages of growth and development that the human psyche cycles through in a lifetime. A visit to each of these stages of consciousness helps us work through challenges, clarify our understanding, and resolve unfinished business. Kellogg's model is called Archetypal States of the Great Round of Mandala, known as "the Great Round" for short.
In her first book, Coloring Mandalas - For Insight, Healing, and Self Expression, author Susanne F. Fincher created mandalas to color based on the 12 stages of the Great Round:
Squaring the Circle
Gates of Death
Kellogg later found it necessary to add a 13th: Stage 0, Clear Light. In her book Creating Mandalas, Fincher elaborates on Kellogg's model more extensively.
In her new book Coloring Mandalas 2 - For Balancing, Harmony, and Spiritual Well-Being, Fincher concentrates on Stage 9, Crystallization. All 72 mandalas in this book are associated with the completion of a cycle of growth that began in the Void (Stage 1). Often resembling crystals, mandalas from the Crystallization stage celebrate our achievements, as well as resting in the pleasure of having fulfilled a personal creative inspiration. Crystallization is also a time of significant spiritual understanding, when our spiritual nature comes together in harmony with our physical nature.
Last Sunday, my husband, son, and myself spent the afternoon coloring mandalas. It was a very peaceful, sacred, and creative time for us. My son colored a mandala from Fincher's first book, while my husband and I worked on mandalas from Coloring Mandalas 2. My husband is an artist, and chose a blank circle to create his particular mandala. I found it interesting that there is an eye in the center of his mandala, especially since it's believed that the "I" is at the center of a mandala. The center is the place of "Christ within", the "Higher Self", or spirit. My mandala and the colors I chose represented, to me, the spectrum of light as demonstrated in a rainbow. Our experiences are polychromatic, and a part of that palatte includes the duality of black/white and Yin/Yang. (The center circle was blank, but I chose to make it a Yin/Yang symbol.) Also, the colors of the 7 chakras are represented in the traditional colors of the rainbow. In my humanness, I often fluctuate between the non-dualistic All-Is-One and the dualism of either/or.
Coloring Mandalas 2 - For Balancing, Harmony, and Spiritual Well-Being is a spiral bound book, so you can easily flip the pages while coloring. You can use any medium you wish, including colored pencils, chalk, temperas, acrylics, crayons, markers, and so on. For ours, we used watercolor pencils. Watercolor pencils are an interesting medium, because you can use a paintbrush dipped in water to achieve a variety of effects.
Fincher explains her purpose in creating Coloring Mandalas 2:
"I have chosen to focus on Crystallization mandalas in this book because they embody peace, joy, and fulfillment. Spending time with these mandalas can be relaxing. Coloring them can provide a soothing balance for hectic lifestyles. Interacting with Crystallization mandalas may also help you develop your ability to access a calm state of mind more easily, whenver you choose to. And some of you may look beyond the patterns you see in these mandalas to experience the spiritual energy that inspired them."
The Crystallization process promotes a deep feeling of satisfaction about your labors of love and the life you are creating, as well as peace and clarity of mind. I hope you get as much out of this book as I do.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2008
Recovering from back surgery, I knew my artistic mind needed a more relaxing, yet retain a stimulating art media to keep my interest. This book does it! Mandalas do have spiritual or rather meditative foci that can help increase healthy thinking as one heals, but the FUN I have had using my professional color pencils, watercolor pencils and a bit of charcoal, chalk, and pastels on the quality paper in this book have really taken my mind off my pain. The mandala images are all on one side of the paper throughout the book, so no bleed through and as I mentioned, the paper quality is not cheap newsprint common of other coloring books. Since getting this book (and a few others!!), I have recommended them to several family members and now they are checking out this great way to relax and use their right "side of the brain" in more ways than one. One additional component of this book are the several pages of blank circles at the book's end where YOU can design your own meaningful mandalas...something many self-help instructors and counselors encourage people to do.
This book is definitely worth every penny and is one of the best of the adult coloring books available. I also wish retirement centers would provide this type of quality art books for residents to provide healthy mind stimulation and possible growth and/or mainttenance.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2008
I am really into geometrical and prism designs...they have an unspoken pull on me...the main challange for me when I color them is to balance somehow the color hues and tones with the geometrical segments of the design...so in the end to be able to get something stunning...the main drawback is when I let myself think too much about what goes with what...I like complex designs, they are more challanging...I use this hobby as a form of active yoga meditation(shutting off my mind while I focus on the design)...all in all, this coloring hobby is the simplest and effective way of gradually developing an inner sense of order, harmony and discipline...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2007
Though I've just begun using it, I bought the Mandala Coloring Book to aid me in relaxation after hectic days and before bed. It is intriguing, to say the least. While coloring the intricate designs, I'm not able to think of much else, making it easier to wind down and "turn off" my head.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2009
My initial introduction to mandalas was when my daughter colored one and gave it to me for a birthday present -- it sparked my interest so I looked on line at several. I chose this one, I liked the looks of them the best of all I've seen and it really is a therapy of sorts for me. This year, all my siblings, children, parents, etc., can expect to receive one on their birthdays! The sketches are on good quality paper, not too terribly intricate but enough so to make it interesting. The first chapter with information about mandalas, their origin, plus more, just gives me such an understanding. I very much recommend this book!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2009
I have had this book for two months and have colored several mandalas with high quality colored pencils. There is an excellent variety of mandalas from very simple to very complex. This has allowed me choose a mandala to color depending on my mood - sometimes I do want simple because the complex ones require a great deal of planning.
Coloring these mandalas have been very peaceful experiences. The simpler designs I color at any time, but the more detailed ones are a spiritual experience for me, and I only color them alone with peaceful, meditative music playing.
I removed and took one of the mandalas that I colored to be laminated because the design and the way I colored it is perfect for meditation, and I didn't want to risk any damage. Many will remain in the book, but I plan to laminate any that speak to me deeply.
This would also make a great family shared book with the simple to complex designs. Younger children wouldn't have any problems with the simpler designs, and older children and parents would enjoy the challenges of the complex designs.
I am so glad I purchased this book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2009
Sometimes even as an adult I enjoy coloring wether with crayons or colored pencils, it is very theraputic, and your able to focus on something else for a while. This books illustrations are very beautiful, but you have the opportunity to use the colors you want, and on actual white paper instead of the off white-ish color of childrens books. It helps to have the spiral bound, I do have a few others without the spiral bound but this just makes it easier and more comfortable. It is like making your own stained glass pictures.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2012
I find it very relaxing to color these mandalas. When I'm stressed out over some situation in my life, I sit down on my back patio with this book and get lost coloring. I find I really get lost in what I'm doing and my thoughts drift away from my problems, and when I become aware of time again, then the problem doesn't seem so bad any longer. It's basically a coloring book that appeals to adults, but it is fun and relaxing.