SYMBOLISM: ENSO

4b541d6c0fde2b7da4225090fe221bfb
b503409c6d76dc10a386950ab9f8b0b8

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 art7d27ac5f997b57bcde5936de59cdffb2

8e24c7d1a2b48cf47dbabf9ad53331c1

caed5d5d491342240bd33a9107e2d3de

d15e7858552d2d418d2312a09050bb74

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.’

7a8bacd29e6f80e2af8227283e0fcef8

9b341b6e6194276fe699b2a790c55285

4e32995b36e17c18e327d6e4cdf3def5

The ensō is also a sacred symbol in the Zen school of Buddhism

966c3c812ca46eed8b684e4f3bf6a0f1

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.

95586437924dc023392ce6fdf2565e6f

b52b017bb0268954bb3840e93788aec4

1bc67b2be13770e7a0454ff939c82df5Zen 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

a0ed14023acbd5d179f672a84a39cdd2

bd55f697624448a7fcda0b233e7a32b67db1a7aad6422edd3e84ea8df404789ec69d3a56ceba27a06e05062d6b02e591

c641eee5610177689a7be9ee88c37cef

Collage by Donna Watson Art @ https://www.donnawatsonart.com

SaveSave