Sumi-e of Life….The Circle

by | Dec 24, 2014 | 0 comments

I have decided to do an Enso painting for this blog as I thought it was most appropriate for this time of the year as it is approaching the end. Also, because I find comfort in its symbolic power during these hectic times of the holidays.



As Enso is a relatively foreign concept for most, I will summarize it in a couple of sentences, but you can find it in greater detail on the net. Actually, it is impossible to truly define Enso as Tao or Life for that matter. I think it is to be understood experientially while painting, looking and contemplating it.



Enso is a Japanese word meaning circle. It is the most common character/symbol in Japanese calligraphy. It is strongly associated with one of the defining aspects of Zen Buddhism – no-mind. It symbolizes enlightenment, strength of mind, elegance, the Universe…..and Mu (the void) that holds all that there is.



Enso is painted with one breath total concentration…not on the painting, but on the inner awareness, the mind is free…Just one continuous round stroke …circle closed, or open slightly…whatever the moment brings.



┬áSo it is the end of the year, we say…..the end of this circle and another one ahead. Not the same though…no two Ensos are the same. If we look at life in general or into our everyday life, we see many seemingly repetitive beginnings and ends…..but is there an end to the circle?….Maybe the circle is only a part of the continuous wave of life…..



Lots to ponder……no time…..we have to get ready for the celebrations :). As we lose the connection with our inner awareness, as our minds get scattered in all directions, nice to know that we can always come back to our own circle, to our true self.



Happy Holidays everyone!



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