In the old days it was called doodling, those repetitive patterns we’d make as we sat in boring meetings. Today, though, it’s got a name: Zentangle. And it has an entire culture that surrounds it, so woe unto those who call it doodling! But really, it is, just a higher form of it. And some of it’s just gorgeous, like the pieces my Zentangling friends Laurel Regan and Karen Sandoval gave me permission to use in this post.
We live in a stressful society. No secret: we’re consumed by social media and text messaging, the instant 24/7 connections that leave us missing the down time necessary to regenerate. I think we long for time in which we’re disengaged from the constant pull toward information and communication, time to rest that part of our brains and engage in something that may be demanding, but not in the same way. Something that uses an entirely different part of our brains.
And THAT, I believe, is why activities like Zentangling and even adult coloring books have become so popular. When we’ve put pen or pencil to paper, we both resting AND exercising our brains. It sounds like a contradiction, but if you think about it, it really isn’t.
Now, you’d think that to relax we’d take a hot bath, read a good book, meditate or do yoga, and of course, many people do just that. But I also believe our society pushes us to be “doing something productive” and perhaps Zentangle and adult coloring are just productive enough that those of us prone to “doing” are ok with it. And because Zentangle includes “Zen,” its meditative qualities are touted and, I think, are real. Repetition is a big part of zen and those intricate, repetitive designs can be a meditation.
Unless, of course, we obsess over them.
A little different. If you’re interested in seeing more Zentangles, visit Laurel Regan HERE or Karen Sandoval HERE. Some beautiful designs that will take your breath away. Oh, and Karen is certified to teach Zentangle, so check her site out.
So, I’m curious. Have you taken up Zentangle? Or coloring?
What are your thoughts on these new adult activities?