Enso Practice

Enso Practice

The Zen Circle is a round form of art which is drawn quickly and freely, seemingly without any practice. Yet for a contemplative artist, drawing one is very much a practice, a mindfulness practice which expresses one's state in the moment. Like other forms of art, it can be a creative means through which to express, focus, and train the mind. 



There are many benefits to working with and drawing the enso circle. This video explains some of them.


The term practice refers to doing something over and over again on a regular basis. Often one practices doing something to get good at it, like learning how to play an instrument. Then there are practices like taking a daily walk where the outcome is more subtle but which may lead to feeling healthier and happier. And there are practices one does for no other reason than just doing the practice.  

With enso practice, first one learns how to hold a brush and draw a circle. With repeated practice, one may began to experience benefits like those experienced with meditation such as peace, joy, and calm. However often I practice just for the purpose of practicing, for the experience in the moment, whatever that experience turns out to be.



When I draw the enso circle, I do my best to be completely aware and present. This attention applies not only to the actual brush stroke but to the process of setting up my work space, preparing ink or paint, laying out a sheet of paper with a paper weight on the top or corners, and moistening my brush and bringing it to a point.

I tune into and focus on my breathing, how I am holding the brush, and my posture. When seated, I sit upright with a straight back, with my shoulders down, and my elbow slightly raised. This posture leads to good form and a stable container for awareness practice.  hold the bottom of my page with the hand that is not drawing so the paper doesn't move. Then I dip my brush into paint or ink, bring it to a point, and while focusing on the process, draw a circle.

After a circle is drawn, I set down the brush and look at what I have created. Then I set that circle aside and reset my work space and my posture.  With the same mindfulness, I draw another circle.