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Enso (formally spelled ensō) is a sacred symbol in Zen Buddhism meaning circle, or sometimes, circle of togetherness.


How to practice?

It is traditionally drawn using only one brushstroke as a meditative practice in letting go of the mind and allowing the body to create, as the singular brushstroke allows for no modifications. While at first glance, the enso symbol appears no more than a misshapen circle. The enso is a manifestation of the artist at the moment of creation and the acceptance of our innermost self.


As a symbol of enlightenment, Zen masters often brush paint an ensō for their student to meditate upon. The quality of the brushwork is said to reveal the depth of the master’s enlightenment. The brushed ink of the circle is usually done on silk or rice paper in only one movement, thereby eliminating the possibility of modification. The single brush stroke may be large, painted with a broad vigorous stroke, or it may be narrow and refined.

   Ensō symbolizes

  • Strength

  • Elegance

  • The universe

  • Single mindedness

  • The state of mind of the artist at the moment of creation and the acceptance of imperfection as perfect


Does Enso


The ensō is a universal symbol of wholeness and completion; “form is void and void is form.”

If you would like to draw an ensō follow these simple steps -

Step 1 - Assemble your tools: brush, ink or paint and paper or canvas

Step 2 - Meditate on your image of an ensō

Step 3 - Place enough ink or paint on the brush to complete your ensō

Step 4 - Take a deep breath and draw your ensō

Step 5 - Remember – one spontaneous chance, one stroke! 

Step 6 - Add words of wisdom to your work of art

Step 7 - Add your name stamp or signature

Step 8 - Place your ensō in a highly visible physical location so that it may serve as a daily inspiration to you, your family and friends

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