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Zentangles - meditative art form


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Here's something therapeutic to try; I can really recommend it! :o Please come back and comment if you tried it.

Zentangling is structured doodling. It’s an art form which is like active meditation. Very absorbing (you ‘zen’ out), fun and you end up with a little piece of art. No artistic experience or ability needed. Materials needed: Pen, pencil and paper.

Here’s an introductory How-To (scroll down about a quarter of the page to see the basics.)

Start with simple patterns: circles, squares, whatever you like to doodle. It can be as plain or as fancy as you want. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy patterns, many of them are surprisingly easy once you break them down (if you even want to use them).

There are any number of You-Tube videos if you want to see it demonstrated.

If you’re stumped for ideas, here are all the patterns (“tangles”) your heart could desire.

A therapist writes on emotional responses to zentangle art.

To give credit where credit is due:

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Learn more at zentangle.com.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am still totally entranced by this and have almost filled a sketchbook, making it a daily practice. I have begun drawing mandalas; the patterns lend themselves very well to mandala making. I found a page describing drawing mandalas for stress relief and relaxation, for which you could use Zentangle patterns.

I am finding that I get totally engrossed in repeating each little stroke and everything else recedes while I am drawing. It is an excellent tool for practising mindfulness which is beneficial for depression and anxiety. The mind does drift off (that's the nature of the mind) but you just bring it back to the current stroke. As I focus and concentrate on drawing each little line I am totally in the moment; just like in meditation and it holds my mind better than focusing on the breath.

Now I think I understand why Buddhist monks make sand mandalas. I am still pretty attached to mine, though and the thought of sweeping up all the sand after spending all that time placing it so carefully ...! It's all about the process, though (although it is nice to have something afterwards) and I can imagine the total mindfulness needed to pour sand into such fine designs.

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ahh yes I remember when you first posted this. I did save the website on my "favorites"

Yes maybe I will start. Can't seem to clean so maybe this might help. Gee how can this be a trigger?? :D hopefully it can't...

My new trauma therpist does adult sand play and like you said it is the process from what I am told. I haven't yet tried it and since I am not normal or manic my sense of thinking and imagination is just gone. I guesss it's the same as taking that blank piece of paper and creating a picture, mine stays blank:o

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