Seated meditation has always been a struggle for me. I know countless people who have struggled to “see the point” and are immediately turned off the idea of meditation all together. To sit there, in silence, with my own thoughts racing, it is so easy for me to feel like it’s a waste of time or just fall asleep. Even though I know that is so far from the truth. I have read all about it, I understand the benefits, and I even see first hand through Michael daily. It still is so hard for me to motivate myself to get into the routine of meditating.
A couple weeks ago I decided I just wasn’t going to force it. I know deep down that one day I will want to practice seated meditation because I believe wholeheartedly in its benefits. The problem is that right now I am getting wrapped up in the frustrations that comes from feeling “bad” at it which defeats the purpose. Mindfulness is about acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. So I was on a mission to find something else to practice in the interim.
Recently I was hanging out with one of my good friends Jorden Woodworth (@jswould) who is an amazingly talented artist. He was using these pens called Micron and was teaching me some cool techniques. I went home and took to the trusty internet to buy myself a set when I stumbled upon The Zentangle Method. Zentangle is simple, structured patterns that almost anyone can use to create beautiful images. They are the kind of designs you can’t help but stare at.
The coolest part about this is that I get so excited to grab my sketchbook, pens, and focus on nothing but the designs I am creating. My heart rate slows, and I become completely present in that moment. It is by far the most satisfying experience I have found for myself to promote mindfulness to date. For me practicing The Zentangle Method increases my focus and creativity, fulfills my craving for artistic expression along with increasing my sense of personal well being.
I could probably draw all day, so I have found a system where I make sure I complete the 3 most important tasks for the day and reward myself with some drawing time!
Try it and let me know what you think!
Here are a few of the Zentangle creations I have been working on. I usually go to Google and search in Images for “Simple drawing of (insert thing you want to draw here)” so I can copy the outline of something and then fill it in with my own tangles! Remember, you cannot make any mistakes and the cool think about tangles is the less perfect the better!