Thursday, August 11, 2016


This is the circle signifying the freedom, impartiality, and equality of the Buddha, in which nothing is lacking. It is the symbol of absolute or true reality, and therefore of enlightenment. The enso is a popular subject in Zen painting, and perhaps, more than in calligraphic art itself, is said to demonstrate the painters state of mind. It is usually executed with a single brushstroke, with the end of the brushstroke often trailing to meet the beginning. In this way, the enso indicates that the world is at once both perfect and imperfect (absolute and relative), or perfectly imperfect: it is the slightly misshapen tea bowl from which we drink tea, said to be the flavor of Zen.

---William Scott Wilson---

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