What are the 5 most significant lessons I learned with the Zentangle Method?

Before I answer, I want to share a list from this article of the Zentangle blog. In this compelling article, Molly Hollibaugh talks about the relationship between Zentangle and shares this list :

10 to Zen

  1. Let go of comparing
  2. Let go of competing
  3. Let go of judgments
  4. Let go of anger
  5. Let go of regrets
  6. Let go of worrying
  7. Let go of blame
  8. Let go of guilt
  9. Let go of fear
  10. Have a proper belly laugh at least once a day.

– Author Unknown

There is something from this list and that article that resonated with me as it related closely to the lessons I learned from practicing with the Zentangle Method.

Let me tell you more about these 5 lessons I learned with the Zentangle Method.

Lesson #1: Letting go

As you practice with the Zentangle Method, you learn to let go of judgment, comparison, and competition. It’s about your enjoyment of putting pen to paper. This practice will help you delve into your creativity. It is your artwork and your unique creativity.

In other words, comparison becomes moot because the joy is in the process of creating, not only in the result it produces.

The artwork produced becomes the icing on the cake. It is lovely to look at but what makes you feel better is the moment you took for yourself, relaxing and drawing.

As you practice, you learn to be more present with each line you draw. You learn to accept that maybe today your line won’t be as straight as yesterday, and it is ok.

Une femme allongée sur le dos se détend en écoutant de la musique avec un casque

Lesson #2: Be in the moment

The anger or the feelings you might feel before you start to draw will become less important or disappear while you’re drawing (and sometimes even will entirely disappear). If your attention is on the line you draw, line after line, stroke after stroke, then it can’t be on something else!

This practice takes so much of your attention that everything else can wait, at least during the time you draw.

How relaxing it is to have time when you don’t have to overthink!

un papillon qui donne l'impression qu'il va se poser sur le doigt d'une main

Lesson #3: Explore what can be

As you practice, you will notice that regrets or worrying become less important. If you have regrets because you didn’t do something or if you’re afraid your tile or artwork isn’t what you expected, take a break and start over when you feel like it and see what happens.

There is beauty in the discovery.

Where will this tile take you today?

Learn to go with the flow and explore.

It can have a tremendous impact on your creative thinking and help you expand your creativity.

quelqu'un est en train de grimper le long d'une échelle qui l'emmène vers le ciel

Lesson #4: Rejoice and relax

Blame or guilt are two feelings that can stop us in our track. How often do you tell yourself: “I am not good enough.” or “I haven’t tangled in a while”? Are there other things you think you need to do before you can draw?

Instead of letting guilt or blame take these moments away from you, learn to be grateful for these moments you can draw (or teach) as they are moments of connection and joy, relaxation, and sharing. These moments are precious.

That is to say, they enrich you and open your world and the world of those around you. They allow you to be more present and giving, first to yourself and then to others.

jambes de personnes assises par terre avec des objets créatifs autour

Lesson #5: Learning to go beyond fear

There is this saying in the Zentangle Method: “there are no mistakes, only opportunities.” It’s not that we don’t make mistakes. Of course, we do!

It is just that you learn, as you practice, to go beyond fear. Or, more precisely, you’re learning to see the opportunities that come from what you may initially consider mistakes.

That fear of making a mistake disappears with practice. It’s incredibly liberating to know fear can no longer stop you in your creative tracks! In essence, fear becomes your springboard to exploring something new.

Lesson Learned with Zentangle

What else can you do now with what you have in front of you?

I would love to continue to talk about “the five lessons I learned with the Zentangle Method” in the comments section below. Let me know if one of them resonates with you too.

If you want to learn more about the Zentangle Method, you can read this previous article.

Until next time,


PS: The most important lesson might be the last item in the list on the top of this article: have a belly laugh once a day. You can also read this as “don’t take everything so seriously” or simply as “HAVE FUN!”

Creativity should never be something that takes your enjoyment away.

PS2: If you don’t know where to start, this mini-course can help you start being more creative.

PS3. There can never be too many PS in my opinion 😉 If you are looking for inspiration to practice regularly, please consider joining the Club ArtsAmuse in English or the Club ArtsAmuse in French. As one of the participants said

“I never have to look for ideas anymore and I get to practice every day.”