Zentangling : Coping with the lockdown

Are you someone who derives your daily dose of excitement from the great outdoors and lives to explore the world? If so then the lockdown must be definitely taking a huge toll on you. It is possible that you are feeling suffocated, lonely, anxious and depressed. Don't let the negative feelings get the better of you! Meditation is a life saver in times like this! But you and I both know that meditating can be really difficult especially in the initial few days. So I recommend my all time favourite: Zentangle!

Zentangle artwork

What is Zentangle?


Zentangle is a self help art therapy practice that enhances relaxation and purpose. This art form, founded by American artist Maria Thomas and her monk husband Rick Roberts, uses structured designs to draw various patterns with a black pen on a white paper.


Even though Zentangle is a relatively modern phenomenon, the principles involved in it are centuries old. It focuses on a ritualistic process that may look intricate but is actually a simple pathway to relaxation and inner focus. The process of Zentangle is based on basic human behaviour psychology in which one refrains from planning and allows line and shapes to unintentionally emerge when pen meets paper.


If you are one of those who believe that they cannot create art and so are too scared to start, this art form is especially for you. While Zentangling, the aim is to focus on the process and not the result. Doing so eliminates anxiety and increases creativity and self confidence and takes you to a state of increased well being.


So pick up a blank sheet of paper and a black pen and get ready to Zentangle! An Eraser too? There are no erasers in life, so why use one while Zentangling? Zentanglers believe that unintended strokes are a source of inspiration to dive into new directions which might have been otherwise unexplored.

A black pen and paper are all you need

The 8 Step process:


Step 1) Gratitude and Appreciation The process begins by asking every Zentangler to show gratitude for what they have and to be grateful that they have the opportunity to start Zentangling.


Step 2) Corner Dots Most people find that a blank sheet of paper makes them anxious as the thought of what to put on paper can be really intimidating. So, drawing one dot in each corner of the page subconsciously removes this anxiety.


Step 3) Borders Connect adjacent dots using straight or curved lines to create a 'Tile' which is a confined area to Zentangle in.


Step 4) String Separate the tile with straight or curved lines into myriad sections to create a mosaic.


Step 5) Tangle Your Tangles Fill each section of the tile with repetitive elemental strokes to meditatively create a beautiful intricate piece of art. The five elemental strokes include: i) Dots ii) Lines iii) Simple curves iv) S shaped curves v) Orbs


Step 6) Shade Shading transforms your 2-D piece of art into a 3-D masterpiece. So shade wherever your mind desires. Even if you don't want to shade, your artwork will still look awesome.


Step 7) Sign It is extremely important for you to own your Zentangle journey by signing your piece of art. Your name, the place and the date can also be added.


Step 8) Appreciation Look at your work. Marvel at the beautiful line, curves and dots that have come together to create this amazing Zentangle masterpiece. Take a moment to introspect and notice that your mood is alleviated and you feel so much more happy and at peace. Thank the higher power for giving you an opportunity to create something beautiful. Zentangling helps me experience feelings of selflessness, timelessness and effortlessness and has been a lifesaver during the lockdown. Now that you have learned how to Zentangle I hope Zentangling helps you too!

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