Meditation Monday – Zentangle ® Art


Like most adults, I am convinced I cannot draw. I can doodle, however, and that is the beauty of the Zentangle art form and method, which a fellow cancer survivor introduced me to last week.

This isn’t mindless doodling, it’s doodling with focus, but without intent. You don’t have a plan and there are no mistakes. The idea is to “get in the zone” or enter a light meditative state. It’s creative, rejuvenating and relaxing. In fact, my Zentangle guide, Fran, told me that she recently spent several days without electricity due to the October snowstorm. In the evenings, she came home from work to a cold, dark house. She spent the time doing Zentangles by candlelight and said it helped her forget the difficult conditions.

My first Zentangle art experience started out slowly, because, as usual, I was unsure of my drawing. That’s where the method really helps. Each Zentangle is drawn on a 3.5″ x 3.5″ “tile,” so it usually takes only about 15 minutes to complete. You start by using a pencil to mark a dot about 1/2″ in from each corner and then connect the dots with borderlines. This creates your working area. Inside the borderlines, you draw “strings” to form whatever shapes you want, creating smaller areas in which to work. Watch the You Tube video to see what I mean.

Now put down the pencil and pick up a micron pen. As there are no mistakes, you won’t be needing an eraser. To get started drawing my tangles, I referred to two books written by Certified Zentangel Teacher, Sandy Steen Bartholomew. Flipping through Totally Tangled and Yoga for Your Brain a Zentangle Workout (Amazon associates links) got me motivated fast – what great books!

The books offered over 100 types of repetitive pattern drawing techniques (the tangles), tips on shading and were easy to follow. I still had my doubts about my abilities, however, and wasn’t initially hopeful for my Zentangle. But It didn’t take long before I got into it and loved the result. When I showed my daughter my artwork, she said it reminded her of a garden. It turns out to be true, that you just can’t fail at Zentangle.

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at I really enjoyed this unique and relaxing form of creativity and, when my children ask me what I want for Christmas, I will be asking for the Zentangle books, tiles and pens, so I can do more Zentangle doodling. Have you tried Zentangle doodling or some other form of creativity that puts you “in the zone?” 

Survival > Existence,



Hi Debbie – I have never heard of this but it looks as if it’s right up my alley. Can’t wait to try it.

Debbie's picture

I Love Zentangle

Hi Bari:

You definitely have to give it a try! It’s so absorbing and relaxing. I love it!

Survival > Existence,



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