Zen is for the Meditative-like state of “Relaxed Focus” and the Creative state of “Flow.”

 Tangle is a pattern made up of a specific combination of the strokes we have all been using since we learned to sign our names, i.e. Dots, Circles, Lines, S-Shapes, and other Curves.

Tangle also means how you can get there.

You “tangle” into a meditative-like state of, “Relaxed Focus” and "Creative Flow” by:

  • Using a black ink pen to draw one of those patterns, mindfully, “One stroke at a time,”

  • Until you have filled-up a marked-off section of your small square paper with the pattern

  • When you have completed that marked-off space, you choose a new pattern and another section of the paper that you previously marked-off

  • Then you repeat the newly chosen tangle within that new section of the paper

  • You continue this way until you have filled each section of your paper to your own satisfaction

 Zentangle though, is more than simply drawing patterns—it includes practicing Mindfulness and Self-Compassion as you move along in your pattern-making. For one thing:

There are no erasures. Instead you learn to build on unintended pen marks that occur.
The "Flow" state of mind will show you new ways to move with those unintended marks,
And you learn through the Zentangle process to accept them just as they are.
You come to see them as opportunities to create something new, versus judging yourself as a creative failure, etc.

It becomes, "Okay, this is not what I intended or wanted, but it's what I've got-- so what can I make of it?" & " How else could I work with this?"  Sometimes new patterns get "discovered" as a result.

This is just one aspect of Zentangle practice that offers a metaphor for practical use in one's life. There are lots more, but the application of just this one metaphor to one's life can make a qualitative difference in one's experience of life. It can help make life less stressful and waaaay more joyful!