Enso/Zen Circle: The meaning behind it

In this post, we want to introduce you to the Enso (Zen Circle) and focus on the deeper meaning behind this sacred Buddhist symbol. The circle symbolises many things: strength, the circle of life, connection, letting go of expectations and the beauty in imperfection.

Derived from Zen Buddhism, the Enso (Zen Circle) simply means a circle or circle of togetherness. 

Traditionally, the circle is drawn with only one brushstroke and is one of the most common subjects in Japanese calligraphy. Drawing an Enso is part of Buddhist meditation practise that focuses on allowing the body to create by quieting the mind, hence also symbolising a moment when the body and spirit are free from the mind to simply create. 

Since the circle is drawn with only one stroke, there is no possibility to modify it. Its beauty comes from the moment it was created and the imperfection that is inherent at that moment. It’s the very imperfections that make the Enso so beautiful. There is a Japanese word that captures the denial of perfection; Fukinsei. By balancing irregularity and asymmetry, one can create a composition that captures something truly unique and perfectly imperfect. 

The Enso is also thought to symbolise our innermost and most authentic self. In Zen Buddhism, it is believed that a person fully exposes himself or herself when drawing an Enso. The imperfection of the Enso shows us that enlightenment is about embracing who we truly are and being satisfied rather than trying to create a character that is perfect. It’s also about being part of a universe that is imperfectly beautiful, our connection to each other and the strength of humanity. 

Carrying this symbol with you can help remind you that you already have everything you need to move towards your goals in life and that there is great beauty in all that is imperfect. 

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