Over the last fifteen years mandalas have offered me, and many friends who have joined me on the journey, an opening through which we can explore the inner life of our soul. Suzanne Fincher started me and so many others on that journey throuh her workshop on Creating Mandalas, and her first book by that same title is a treasure chest of guidance in exploring our inner life through the creation of mandalas. This workbook provides many colorful illustrations of mandalas that show our movement through life along with an array of mandala outlines that I could color as the Spirit led me. This book offered me inspiration and deeper understanding of the great round of the mandala, a path through which many of our mandalas move, and through which our lives journey. I commend it in combination with Suzanne's earlier book, Creating Mandalas. It is not as helpful alone. I would hope that this workbook would be a beginning but not an end, that no one would stop at coloring in the patterns within this book. To me, the most important role of the mandala is to let the color, shape and texture of my inner life float up into an empty circle where I can see it and relate with it.
To be honest, when I first got the book I was very disappointed and considered sending it back. The pictures to be colored are not really the quality I was expecting. I changed my mind about keeping the book when I actually started to read. The snippets of information about mandala in different cultures are quite good, as is the brief review of Jungian thought on mandala. I learned quite a few things about something I had thought was simply a tool for meditation. I also learned more about the symbolism of color. As a means to advance my art, it wasn't the incredible book I had hoped for. As a means to advance my inner self, though, it represented a few more steps along the path, and that makes it worth keeping.