In Zen painting, the Enso is a circle drawn with sumi ink and brush on rice paper. It represents our perfection amidst our incompleteness, a symbol of when the mind is free to let the body and spirit create an expression of the moment.
The Enso is a minimalist art form which captures the moment and one’s sense of connection with it. There is a fluidity and mindfulness to the act of creating one of these simple designs. However, it is the repetition of the art that develops sense of discipline in the artist. This exercise allows one to become immersed in a simple act which begins to develop its own complexity and subtle variation. The more times the circle is painted or drawn, the more that moment comes to life in a single, smooth, curving brush stroke which meets itself back at the point at which it started.
The images above were created in a short space of time, and I have barely begun to explore this fascinating form.
From an Occupational Therapy perspective I think that there is potential for this to be used for a variety of purposes and interventions. Furthermore, this is a very accessible activity, and it can produce a large amount of work very quickly, then there is the potential for using other mediums, other materials, scaling up and down, repetition, printing, textiles, sculpture, murals and so on.
How far can you take it, well have a look at Bill Buchman doing his thing at one of his classes.
If you use this as an activity or intervention, please let us hear about it at email@example.com.