SYMBOL NO 4: ENSO (symbols widely used in TATTOO DESIGNS)
Following the ‘CIRCLE’ theme, I go to the ENSO symbol..
Ensō (円相) is a Japanese word meaning “circle” and a concept strongly associated with Zen. Ensō is one of the most common subjects of Japanese calligraphy even though it is a symbol and not a character. It symbolizes absolute enlightenment, infinity, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void; it can also symbolize the Japanese aesthetic itself. As an “expression of the moment” it is often considered a form of minimalist art
Most broadly, Enso represent the vast qualities of the universe, conjuring up its grandness, limitless power, and natural phenomena. But enso can just as easily represent the void, the fundamental state in which all distinctions and dualities are removed: ‘Outside — empty, inside — empty, inside and outside — empty.’
The ensō is also a sacred symbol in the Zen school of Buddhism
In Zen Buddhist painting, it represents the infinite void, the ‘no-thing,’ the perfect meditative state, and Satori (enlightenment.)
Ensō symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create. The brushed ink of the circle is usually done on silk or rice paper in one movement (Bankei, however, occasionally used two strokes) and there is no possibility of modification: it shows the expressive movement of the spirit at that time.
Zen Buddhists “believe that the character of the artist is fully exposed in how she or he draws an ensō. Only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true ensō. Some artists will practice drawing an ensō daily, as a kind of spiritual practice or diary