Active meditation through drawing mandala and zentangle

A form of active meditation

Mandala or zentangle drawing and coloring is considered a form of active meditation. These activities are simple and accessible to everyone. These are relaxation activities that allow you to relax, have fun and be in the present moment.

They are tools used in art therapy to reduce anxiety, soothe and calm the mind.

In this article, we will look at both definition and you will learn how to make a zentangle,

What is a mandala?

According to Wikipedia, the word Mandala comes from India. This term comes from Sanskrit, in Tibetan, and means « circle ». It is an organization of symbols which evolve around a central point and which represents a sacred space, a spiritual dimension, the relationship with infinity, the relationship with ourselves, the self in the universe, an interpretation of the life cycle. The mandala can have different meanings depending on religious, political or spiritual practices. Having a great popularity in India, Tibet and even in Japan, this type of drawing was also carried out by the Mayans, the Aztecs, the Persians and Christianity.

To learn more about mandala and to learn how to make one, read this article « What is a mandala, purposes and how to make a mandala ». 

To color a mandala, see my offer a little bit further.

Here is the video demonstrating how to make a Peace and love mandala. sur Youtube.

What are zentangles and how to make a zentangle?

zentangleSimilar to the mandala, the zentangle is a series of repeating patterns within one or more shapes. In just a few minutes you will get a surprising result.

The repetition of the patterns creates a space of peace and mindfulness. This exercise can be as short as 10 minutes to feel the calming effects.


The material used is very simple. All you need is a sheet of paper and a black ink pen. Depending on your inspiration, you can also use colors.


Here are the simple steps to create a zentangle.

  • Draw a square shape of 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches or, in the metric system, 9cm by 9cm on a piece of paper.
  • Then, draw a series of designs inside the square. You can divide the square into sections and make patterns inside each of the sections.
  • Further are some ideas of patterns and shapes for your zentangle.

Template for download

I have for you a zentangle template for download and print. Just subscribe to my newsletters. In addition, you will be receive a free guided meditation and a mandala to color for free! You are already registered? Just email me and I’ll send you a link.

To get your zentangle template for printing and drawing inside, subscribe to my newsletters!

Ideas of patterns and shapes for your zentangle

Here are some ideas of patterns and shapes for your zentangles.

  • Geometric: Circle, triangle, square, rectangle, oval, rhombus, line etc.
  • Symbols: braces, heart, star, etc.
    • Look in the emojis to find many symbols to integrate into your zentangles.
  • Forms inspired by nature: petal, clover, moon, sun, cloud, tree, eye, fruit, vegetables, flowers, etc.
  • Forms inspired by architecture: window, door, house, building, etc.
  • Shapes inspired by everyday objects: cup, fork, spoon, light, candle, etc.
  • People or characters
  • Fauna (animals, insects, fish, etc.)
  • Abstract shapes
  • Words, letters
  • Etc.

Things to remember

You made a mistake? That doesn’t really matter because it is a relaxation exercise and not a performance exercise. Just like in life, nothing is perfect. Everything is imperfect and so it is perfect, as Nicole Bordeleau mentions in one of her guided meditations.

Try to experience other shapes such as flowers, animals, geometric shapes, letters and many more. There are tons of shapes and symbols that you can apply into the art of zentangle.

The simplicity of the zentangle and the equipment used make it an activity that can be practiced anywhere!

Here is the video related to this article demonstrating how to make a zentangle on Youtube.

Ambiance for active meditation

Since making mandalas is a pleasant activity, why not have a nice music playing at the same time? Listening to relaxing or energetic music can give your mandala great energy and vibration. Pour des suggestions de musique relaxante, voir mon article: Top 10 relaxing music for work, study, no stress, focus, concentration.

To listen to my chill out down tempo music, click here.

Have fun!

Mandala and zentangle drawing is a calming, relaxing and enjoyable activity. By absorbing yourself in the shapes, patterns and movement of the pencil, this activity leads to a state of tranquility and well-being.

I hope that you will have fun making your own mandalas and zentangles!

If you think that you cannot meditate, read this article with 4 easy techniques..

If you enjoyed this article, share it on your social medias!

May your life be filled with colors, joy and loving kindness!


Chantal Rioux 😊

Sources :

Don’t miss out any news and subscribe to my newsletters!

🎁 You will receive a free MP3 guided meditation, a zentangle template and a mandala to color! Also, you will get a 10% welcome promotional code that applies on many products of my shop,