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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Heart-Brain Train of Thought

Rick writes:

These past few days we have enjoyed some fascinating conversations, thoughts, and insights.

A conversation about language and Zentangle terminology reminded us how difficult and fettering it can be to try to tie verbal bows neatly enough to contain and convey an experience or an insight. We were again grateful that our Zentangle Kit DVD has no spoken instructions.

This conversation led to discussing right-brain/left-brain concepts and how the Zentangle Method can be an effective tool for immediately engaging those facilities that are often thought of as "right-brain."

When Maria and I wrote The Book of Zentangle, we created it so that it could be read from a perspective of either, or both, "sides" of the brain. We are referring to an often over-simplified concept of lateralization of brain function commonly referred to as right brain/left brain. Generally, the left side is perceived as more resonant with logical, sequential, rational, analytical, and objective processes; and the right brain as more resonant with random, intuitive, holistic, synthesizing, and intuitive perspectives.

With an understanding that the right brain hemisphere is associated with the left side and the left hemisphere with the right; we made the left side of our book mostly images and the right side, mostly words.

We talked about how there may be more than one continuum of interpreting and describing types of experience. I remembered a phrase I had heard: "Heart-Brain." That could just as easily be another continuum. This led to some internet surfing on "heart-brain" information waves. We discovered that there's lots of fascinating info on this. We're now inspired to explore this concept in the context of a Zentangle practice. It's very exciting and we invite any comments and ideas you may have.

Appropriately with Valentine's Day approaching, I must have had hearts on my brain when I created this tile:

This tile is created with quandary* and then I "squeezed" in shapes like we do in 'nzeppel.

After creating my quandary and before inserting those shapes or coloring in any quandary shapes, I could pick out a heart and this tile pretty much finished itself.

Later, I wondered what else I could "see" there so I took a picture and created these overlays in Photoshop:

Now, I'm on a roll. Let's start again with a basic quandary tangle . . .

. . . and do similar overlays, but this time with a slightly different orientation:

There's a delicious metaphor here . . . whatever an overall pattern may be, you are free to discover and focus on whatever shape "suits" you.

Then, I got a bit side-tracked. Out came my compass and straight-edge, and with a little Photoshop help . . .

I wonder if that pattern is behind these familiar shapes.

Ah, such a quandary!

We invite you to join us as we learn more about a heart-brain continuum and what role Zentangle might play in exploring that. We enthusiastically look forward to reading your thoughts and comments about this topic.

* Quandary is a new tangle that we introduced at our most recent CZT seminar. We will do a formal introduction and step-out soon in our newsletter. Until then, if you take a workshop with a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher), ask to be shown how to play with this fun tangle. (CZT List)

Click images for larger views beyond words.

1 comment:

Carole Ohl said...

It's so beautiful how the 'unseen' structures play such a big part in everything. When I am tangling, which for me feels like right brain process, I am often not aware at that moment of the structures that are supporting me. I know the string is there to do that, but the patterns themselves have their own structure that often floats away from my awareness. I loved the last image here. My left brain looks at that and says, now that makes sense! Thank you. I'm feeling both of them working perfectly together today!