I recently discovered this artwork on artjini.com. It was hidden among the hundreds of other fabulous artworks on the site. I was intrigued by the unformed circle and word beneath it that read
Since the artwork was named the Zen Circle, I googled for Zen Circle and what I found just blew my mind.
Before that here is the artwork for you,
In Zen Buddhism, an ensō is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. (source:Wikipedia)
The word itself simply translates to “circle” in Japanese; however, it embodies one of the defining aspects of Zen Buddhism, no-mind. A state of no-mind is where a person is free from thoughts and emotions while being completely present in the now. It is believed that while in this state of total presence, true creativity can arise. (source: http://bit.ly/1mZ5IiP)
The ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void). Zen Buddhists believe that only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true ensō. Drawing an ensō is a meditative or contemplative exercise and many artists practice drawing an ensō daily as part of their spiritual practice. Traditionally, the Zen artist might meditate in silence for a long time before the brush and paper. When the drawing is executed, it is done quickly and spontaneously, as an inevitable expression of what already existed within the artist.
How to Draw your Own ensō?
- Get together the tools – paint (usually black), paint brush, paper or canvas
- Meditate, create the picture of your ensō in your mind. Remember it is your spirit that is working through your body
- Dip the brush into the color so that you have enough to complete a circle
- Draw your ensō
- One stroke, no touchups. It must be spontaneous
The ensō reveals a the spiritual state of the artist at the moment of the creation. The circle represents the material world. After the circle is drawn, it creates the concept of inside and outside. The inside and outside disappear as soon as the cicle is erased. The circle also depicts the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Some paint an ensō with an opening in the circle while others close the circle. Which is the perfect ensō?
Here is another ensō Zen Circle Painting:
An open ensō may express the idea that the ensō is not separate from all that is; rather, it is a part of something greater. The open circle reflects that the ensō is not contained within itself: but opens out to infinity. It might also speak to imperfection as an essential and inherent aspect of our existence. Ensō can be the open circle of emptiness in which the self flows in and out while remaining centered; or it can be closed and express a mandala or cosmogram. Leaving the ensō open is like leaving room for the spirit to flow in and out of the circle of emptiness; allowing it to breathe. Breath and emptiness are essential ingredients for meditation, contemplation and the creation of a spiritual life. (source: http://bit.ly/1mZ5IiP)
A truly inspirational and thought provoking art print for any workplace. I sure, would like to work in an office that had these on the walls.