One lazy Friday afternoon, while I was browsing my Facebook news feed, I came across an event invitation that read “Color Meditation Session”. I didn’t think much about it at first, but boredom propelled me to open the event page anyway.
The page consisted of the event details, a display of colorful works of art and a bunch of thank you notes sent out to the instructor for the great sessions that passed. I looked at the pictures. Most of them were of geometric shapes and figures. I thought to myself “Hmmm, these look cool. I might actually sign up”. But then, I remembered that the event invitation did include the word “Meditation” and I also recalled that meditation is really not my thing.
All my past experiences with meditation and breathing exercises have driven me to an uncontrolled state of laughter, not to mention a sense of embarrassment that cast its shadows on me long after the sessions had finished. I felt ashamed by my giggles, as I remembered how serious everyone looked around me and how pathetic I must have looked in comparison. However, my laughs were never made in mockery of the people around me. In fact, people who practice medication always have my admiration. Their ability to concentrate for long periods of time is commendable. So, with the memory of my unexplained laughs in my head, I thought “Maybe I am better not joining this session.”
With this resolve, I closed my laptop and I decided to go about my day. However, the colored pictures kept coming back to me. I couldn’t get them out of my mind. Maybe , I am a child at heart but I love colors. I even use my eight –year-old niece as an excuse to draw and color . Most people would think I am entertaining her, and that is my original intention. But, somewhere between drawing and coloring and her endless comments, I actually end up entertaining myself.
I am far from the great artist but I have absolute admiration for all artists everywhere. So, with that being said, I thought that this session is actually a legitimate excuse for me to have fun and to engage in one of my guilty pleasures. After all, isn’t coloring healthier than eating junk food or buying shoes I know I’m not going to wear? Isn’t it better than buying strangely colored bags that don’t match any outfits I own ? Such guilty pleasures have earned themselves a corner in my closet , which I call “The what the hell was I thinking corner” and that corner is getting cramped . With that comparison made, I thought that coloring just seemed a lot safer and healthier for my personal finances if not for my own well being.
So, I signed up for the session. I paid the fees, and on the designated day I was the first to arrive. Upon meeting me, the instructor, a friendly young woman, said that she felt she knew me from somewhere. We both tried to figure out where and till this day we are not sure. When all links leading to a possible previous encounter were broken, she ushered me into a room that was filled with colored cushions, colored pencils, small white tables and the whiff of scented candles. I sat in that room in silence and I waited.
Soon enough, the other course attendees arrived. We were then instructed to take off our shoes, leave behind our mobiles, and to simply color for an hour. Each of us was handed an intricate drawing and with that simple set of instructions the coloring began. Soft music played in the background, and the room gradually got dimmer as the sun began to set over the busy streets of Amman. The orange glow from the setting sun cast its melancholy shadow over the room and the sky gradually began to transform itself into a deep shade of purple. That, was the last thing I noticed in the room. After that point the evening only consisted of me and the colored markers, the drawing, the music, and the scented candles. The random thoughts I had about the boss, the job, the family, my failure and my successes gradually began to shed themselves. The pounding headache I felt simply didn’t matter as I found that I was actually enjoying coloring between the lines enticingly bonding to form leaves, flowers, circles, and diamonds on the paper. I don’t know how everyone else in the room felt, as I didn’t even look at them.
Still a sceptic when it comes to medication, I will not say that I was transformed into another world. Instead I will say there was something relaxing about this simple activity.
Maybe such activities present to us a message inviting us to reexamine our lives. Maybe they are simply telling us that our lives lack simplicity. Maybe kids have it right all along and coloring is a pure and fun form of entertainment. I am still not sure.
After the doodling and coloring excursive, the instructor took us through a guided color meditation session. I can’t tell you much about that because I fell into a deep dream-less sleep allowing the lull of her voice to simply fade into the corners of my mind. When I woke up, all I saw was the dark room softly lit by a golden glow of candles. I was relaxed.
I didn’t go to another session after that, as no other session was announced, but I did invest in a coloring book for adults.
Whether or not there is a true value to meditation remains to be discovered for me, but I will tell you this, coloring is indeed a fun way to pass time.
I took the session here