Taught by certified Zentangle Method instructor Hilary Smith
Zentangle itself may be relatively new, but the basic principles involved are as old as the history of art. It includes ritual and mirrors the symbols, designs and patterns of numerous cultures from ancient through present times. And like “doodling” it is based on a human behavior in which one refrains from planning and allows lines and shapes to unintentionally emerge.
Why am I interested in Zentangle? While the process may look intricate, it is a deceptively simple pathway to relaxation and inner focus. In fact, proponents of the practice note that it has multiple benefits including calming an anxious mind, increasing self-confidence, and cultivating moment-to-moment awareness in a similar way as mindfulness meditation.
It’s self-soothing. Repetitive creative work, in and of itself, can be calming and self-soothing. In fact, some of the preliminary research on the Zentangle process indicates that engagement in the process has measurable relaxation benefits. This is particularly true if you accept this process as one with no expected outcome other than the enjoyment of putting the pen to paper and staying open to whatever emerges.