It's week four of the six week summer (school) holiday, and it's all going pretty well so far. We've had two short breaks, many days out and about and still have our main family holiday to come. It's always challenging to strike the balance between doing enough to keep the children occupied, and not doing too much so that everyone just gets tired and grotty. It's not just the kids I'm talking about either - I'm naturally a tightly wound person and some space and quiet is an essential part of my day if I want to stay sane - I'm no longer used to the house being so full and noisy every day.
So each afternoon, we've had a certain amount of "chill out time" when we all go off on our own and do something quietly. One of the things I've been doing is working through a preview* copy of 'More Colouring for Contemplation'.
This is the follow-on title from the team behind 'Colouring for Contemplation' which was hugely successful and included the same type of calming images, simple text and meditative exercises. The new book is designed to guide the reader's quiet contemplation as they work through four different sections: Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity. These make up the Brahma Viharas or 'Divine Abodes' in Buddhism, but you don't need to be a Buddhist to appreciate the opportunity to reflect and take lessons from the exercises which are included.
Each section includes quotes (from well-known people) alongside themed illustrations, as well as meditations and reflections by the author, so it's a lot more than just a colouring book. The text has been written by Amber Hatch who is a writer, teacher and childminder - Amber has been practicing Buddhist meditation for six years. Illustrations are by Amber's husband Alex Ogg.
There is a lot to like about this book - especially as I already have an interest in meditation and drawing/colouring. I really like the prompts for reflection and reviewing your work and realised some interesting things about myself (including my relationship to perfectionism, when faced with the large expanses of space in some of the images - I'm much happier with the smaller shapes - I can see how I apply this to my life!). I also like the journal prompts and space for your own doodles, notes or scribbles - as an avid journal-er and note-taker it ticks a lot of my boxes.
As with all of the other colouring books I've tried, the felt pens (standard fibre tip pens) bled through to the reverse page, but as the images are on alternating pages only, it didn't affect the next illustration at all (and it gave me an opportunity to recall that acceptance is also part of Buddhist teaching).
Overall this is a really nice book and good value too, priced at £6.99. It will be widely available from tomorrow, 17th August and you can pre-order now from Amazon (you'll get it tomorrow if you're a Prime customer).
*This copy was provided by the publisher for me to review. Amazon affiliate links are included in this post. As always, all opinions are entirely my own.