I remember the moment my wife informed me that she had enrolled me for my first Zentangle class in July 2022. Despite having difficulty focusing during my meditation practices, it was an effective relaxing therapy. I was initially anxious but eager to find out more about Zentangle. After researching and discovering the benefits such as increased self-confidence, alleviation of stress, improved hand-eye coordination and improved creativity, I started preparing the materials and my mental state for the class.
Due to COVID-19, the class was conducted on Zoom. I was very nervous on the first day of the lesson. The class was comprised of students of all ages from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. As I had no prior knowledge of the lesson, I was worried I would not be able to cope with the lessons. However, with the guidance of Teacher Ling Ling through her caring and helpful explanations, I started to develop a strong interest for Zentangle.
After the first session, I wanted to explore more and was given the opportunity to attend the physical class in Feb 2023. Although it had the same fundamental concept, the class shared a distinctively new experience and novel method of learning which I found incredibly intriguing.
Throughout these 2 classes of 6 sessions, I find Zentangle to be enjoyable, easy and even an accessible art for children and adults. It offers relaxing, mindful exercise, a simple way to discover new perspectives together with valuable life skill set. Zentangle has the potential to simulate our creativity, improve concentration and self-journalism, enhance and develop our skills, boost our mood, inspire new ways of thought and build self-confidence.
Since the start, I was very concerned about my painting practices as I was overly focused on perfection. Hence, I kept drawing and erasing again and again till I remembered Master Sheng Yen’s teaching of 心五四运动 – 四它. “Start with the initial drawing, Face it (面对它) and Accept it (接受它) without changing it, then Deal with it (处理它), finally just Let it go (放下它) and commit it. As what Teacher Ling Ling said, there is no wrong and right in Zentangle painting. Now, I am inspired and able to finish my own Zentangle paintings without amendments.
From all these lessons, not only I had learnt about Zentangle drawing but also how we can manage our way of life, to give it happiness and meaning. Last but not least, I would like to thank Teacher Ling Ling, class volunteers for their teaching and guidance, as well as all my classmates for their kind sharing. Having gone through this, I now have the opportunity and confidence to dedicate my “Me Time” to drawing my own Zentangle painting. Furthermore, coming from a background of little artistic experience, I am able to produce and reflect on quality paintings that bear great contentment and satisfaction.
I am filled with gratitude because of you.
Written by 林耀星
Photos by GuoHui & BK
Event Date: 2023 Feb 04 - 25