Ensō

enso

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.

–Lao Tzu

I admire the sagely writings of the Eastern prophets and thinkers – Lao Tzu, Confucius, Rumi; I believe that their ancient wisdom can help us navigate the complexity and clamour of our technologically driven world today.

Whilst not a part of the aforementioned writers’ canon, there is a Zen concept that emerges from the meditative act of Japanese calligraphy: the beautiful, minimalist circles that are in themselves symbols of lucidity. It is called Ensō.

Ensō is symbolic of staying in the present, detaching the mind from the body, where the body or spirit is free to create. It is, in a way, a record of the moment of pure creation.

It is cyclic, it is honest, it is at once incredibly intricate and surprisingly simple, capturing the Moment in a single movement.

This idea of the “moment” has always compelled me. Creative work is a difficult beast to tame, especially in this Age of Distraction. Being mindful, calming the mind, focussing on the pure act of just creating, is essential to being content, is essential in taming that seemingly unwieldy monster.

I think Ensō is such a beautiful idea, it’s result so lucid, so pure and honest. It is a reminder to us busy souls of what it means to create and to centre oneself in this chaotic universe through the simple yet powerful act of conscious creation.

Staying in the present, living in the moment and fading the world out so that it’s just you and the work to be created before yourself: this is Ensō.

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