THE SYMBOL OF CIRCLE

In Japanese the word Ensō means "circle", it is not a character but a real symbol. Closely linked to Zen culture and Zen Buddhist painting, the Ensō represents "the expression of the moment" in which body and spirit are creative. The meaning is a symbol of illumination, infinity and the absolute universe. How Zen philosophy represents everything (the universe) and nothing (absolute emptiness).
The enso is a sacred symbol in Zen Buddhism, and is often used by Zen masters as a signature in their works.

So do all Zen masters sign their works with the same symbol? At first glance it might seem like a kind of standardization but it is not at all. As stated, each enso symbol is unique and its individual meaning cannot be separated from the hand of the Zen master or the artist who designs it
The design of the circle is traced on silk or rice paper with a single and simple gesture, without the possibility of correction and for this very reason it represents the movement of the spirit at that given moment. Zen Buddhists are firmly convinced that "the artist's character and nature are fully revealed by the way he draws an ensō. Only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true Ensō “.

The circle is the most common subject of Japanese calligraphy, it represents illumination, strength, the universe and emptiness. The most sacred symbol in Zen Buddhism and is often used by masters as a signature in their works, it can be painted with an opening (i.e. the circle is not separated from the rest of things, but is part of something larger) or completely closed.
In 1707, a young monk named Hakuin was moved by the sight of the crude handwriting of an old Zen master. He realized that by comparison his strokes, although they seemed sharper and clearer, did not reflect the same inner fulfillment as those of the old monk. I therefore understand that:

"Virtue shines, skill is not important."

For this he redoubled his efforts in Zen practice for another forty years. His art was born from years of discipline and meditation.
 
Buddhist teachers often say that Enso cannot be explained. actually there is only one way to get to understand it with all its nuances, in all its essence: to experience it. Because that symbol is not a simple circle and in fact it is not even an art form. We know that it is increasingly common to choose this shape as a tattoo, this minimalist expression of the Zen school. However, his involvement goes far beyond. 
Enso is a state of mind. It is that point of perfect harmony where the body and mind are freed to be able to overturn their internal perfection through a gesture, a movement.

The one who performs that hand to express a personal state where everything is complete, where everything and nothing exists in this present moment and can be contained in the form of a circle that remains open. where an opening is left to evoke that small part which is always open to infinity. 
Creating a Japanese Enso takes practice and mental calm. Because an Enso is painted in a continuous brush stroke, in a single stroke and with only one opportunity to complete it. There is no going back to correct it.
For the Zen Buddhist, on the other hand, the Enso (circle) evokes that perfect moment when the mind is free to leave the body so that the spirit rises. Therefore, only a mentally and spiritually complete person will be able to draw a real Enso.

It is, so to speak, the reflection of his illumination expressed through a drawing, the firm and sure pulse of an artist capable of evoking his inner perfection. If we ask now the origin of this symbol, we have to go back in time to the 28th century BC. C in China, at the time of this idea, this concept was later imported to Japan by Buddhist monks.
 

THE STONE CIRCLE

Stay inside the stone circle and keep it away. This I have been trying to do all this time. You can’t imagine what force it took to keep him at bay! Only the strongest souls receive his terrible attack to prove that the light has victory over him every time. The first time he came I was so weak and didn’t know anything about myself but I managed to avoid his overwhelming me. It was painful but I stood up to him because I had immense strength inside me. Over time I have always learned to recognize him, but each time I don’t know if I will get the better of him. The closer I get to the goal, the more he puts his wonderful obstacles in front of me. Each time he changes his face and his entire semblance but I recognize his way of doing. From the beginning I knew what it was aimed at and I tried to keep it well hidden in me. I told him: “Not me! Not me, you were wrong! I am cursed. I come from your own kingdom! ” But he’s too smart and he never believed me. It’s true, for a while he left me alone, I managed to divert him from me, I disguised myself as a damned soul and for a while he really drank it. I covered myself with ashes, with pain, with black suffering to convince him that it wasn’t me, I wasn’t the one he needed. But now he is furious, he has discovered the deception and his anger is terrible. He feels he has been made fun of by me, a cunning little girl. How she managed to get rid of him like this I don’t really know. Perhaps only a woman can succeed in deluding even the devil. But now he doesn’t want to let go because he knows what he would give up. And his war on me is merciless. He devises a thousand ways to make me fall and has become good at showing himself under his best clothes to capture my soul. He scratches me, he calls me to him, he leaves marks on my body, he wants to reach me to chain me to him. Sometimes I feel so weak, so tired, it would make me forget everything and disappear and never be found again. But I’m not a coward and I can’t stand him laughing at my vile escape. And so now he has sent his best soldiers to destroy my flesh, my mind and my heart. each of them knows a thousand techniques to bend my will and the torture is worthy of the martyrs of the past. You do not know what war is being fought inside my life, in this life that you believe to be full only of human passion. It is not the love against which I fight, it is not a man that I escape but it is the first Enemy of all mankind. This little girl has no shield, I have no armor, this girl that I am has only a stupid hope of being able to save someone else by paying with her own sacrifice. And if letting his soldiers cut me apart will help your ascension, I will let myself be wiped off the face of the earth. Behold, the ferocious lions are ready to receive my blood, delicious morsel, to save your path. This was my secret, this was what I wanted to tell you. I will not hesitate to be devastated to save your soul. I will not hesitate to be eliminated for your sake and for your love. When I was told that I should have done this to give my light, I did not reply. That Enemy I didn’t know really existed. Now I can tell you that he is here, waiting for my yes. When I told you to link together it was to avoid drinking my cup. But now I’ve brought it to my lips and I’m drinking it to the last drop. I want to give my life to save yours. I will fall but you will remain standing. What can my life of mud be worth if I can save the mission of you, my prophet? I want him to take every last drop of my blood and set it on fire, so you will be safe and I will no longer exist. I trust only in YOU and I trust that you will reach your divine Glory. “Everything is done”.

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