Monday, November 5, 2012

"East is east and West is west...

...and never the twain shall meet." So said Rudyard Kipling in "The Ballad of East and West." I'd have to say, "Not necessarily, other than geographically." What in the world am I talking about, you say?

It's come to my attention that there may be some concern or confusion about whether or not the practice of Zentangle® is some kind of Eastern religion and whether or not it is compatible with Western beliefs, in particular, Christianity. So I thought I'd share a few thoughts on that subject.

I see no conflict between the practice of Zentangle, which is a meditative art form, and my Judeo-Christian-based faith. Zentangle isn't Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Shinto, Muslim, or Christian, let alone Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, or United Methodist. It's a wonderful exercise in mindfulness, which can be a real enhancement to your own particular prayer or meditation time. It isn't a form of worship. It isn't brainwashing. It isn't a cult. (Though in the interest of full disclosure, I should say it certainly can be habit-forming in the best possible way.)

I've recently learned of a woman who found that she could finally concentrate and remember her pastor's Sunday message well after it was over once she started mindfully tangling during the sermon. I think it's awesome that she was finally able to absorb the message, as she had longed to do. And she was thrilled to have found such a delightful tool to help her along her faith journey. Did God care that she was tangling in church? I don't think so. I believe God smiles on us as we learn and grow and experience the many joys which have been provided for us, including the meditative art form of Zentangle.

If you have concerns or questions about what Zentangle is, and ISN'T, or are uncomfortable about it in any way, please ask. I'd be happy to answer your questions.

By the way, I'll be helping with a Zentangle Christmas ornament craft table at our church's Advent Festival later this month...  Come tangle with us Sunday evening, November 25, at Bear Creek United Methodist Church on Avondale Road, in Woodinville, Washington.

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