You may remember that our son, Sean, suffered a broken arm (among other injuries) in an accident over a year ago. Two surgeries weren't able to repair it correctly, so we finally found a third doctor in NYC who operated on him four weeks ago (he's doing extremely well as I write this -- we're hoping that the third time was the charm).
Needless to say, husband Fran and I had a looooong period of waiting at the hospital before, during, and after the surgery, so I brought lots of play things with me to occupy the time, including the book, "Zen Mandalas," by Suzanne McNeill; this is an exciting collection of Zentangle®-filled, circular designs by several talented artists, complete with guidelines for creating your own mandelas. Since they're basically round and divided into 5, 6, 8, or 12 equal segments, it's easier to design one if you have a compass, a protractor, and a ruler. I had brought exactly none of these with me, so I followed the suggestion given in the book: I made a snowflake.
I folded a piece of paper into eighths and made a few holes in the folds by tearing away the paper, since I also didn't have scissors. Then I traced the cut areas onto my art paper and used them as guidelines. I followed some of the examples in the book, and the mandala pictured at the top emerged.
Everything that has been said about Zentangles was true for me that day: I felt an amazing sense of well being; the process helped to both calm me and foster my creative spirit; and I experienced a much-needed feeling of timelessness. This was just what the doctor ordered.