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ENSO - a powerful tool for self-expression

The Enso is an ancient Japanese symbol derived from the words "en" meaning circle, and "so" meaning "to paint".



It is also known as the Zen circle, Japanese circle or circle of infinity. In Japan, it is also a symbol of Japanese calligraphy as well as Buddhism.


The Enso is a powerful tool for self-expression, as the free-flowing strokes of the brush create an organic form that is often seen to symbolize the infinite universe and our connection to it. With its emotive quality, Enso painting can express our innermost thoughts and deepest emotions without words. Through its practice, we can gain an appreciation for the present moment and cultivate a sense of peace and clarity. It can be a creative and peaceful way to explore our own emotions and tap into our creative potential. Enso painting is more than just art – it is a reminder of balance, harmony, impermanence. The steps to painting an Enso are:

1. Prepare the ink. (See a video at the bottom of the page.) If you do not have ink use black watercolour paint. 2. Connect with the energy of the universe and visualize a circle. (See the meditation below.) 3. Hold the brush in your hand and take a deep breath. 4. Paint with intention and draw the Enso in one stroke and breath. 5. Allow yourself to explore inner emotions, creativity, and peace while painting. 6. Take time to sit and reflect on your work after finishing. Enso painting meditation; Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Imagine yourself connecting to the energy of the universe. Visualize a circle, infinite in its nature and possibilities. Feel the brush in your hand and allow your breath and intuition to guide your movements. Paint without expectation or judgment, letting the strokes come and go as they wish. Allow yourself to explore inner emotions, creativity and peace as you paint. When you are finished, take a few moments to sit with your creation and recognize it as a reflection of your journey.


The video below will help you on your journey to painting many Enso.

Preparing your ink video:


Enso graphic design: Emma Alexander Arthur

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