According to Japanese, as we search to find meaning and purposes in our lives, certain concepts and symbols can help us. One of the most effective symbols is the Enso Circle, a Japanese “circle” that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes and used in Zen to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.
he Ensō circle represents our true and innermost self. The Enso circle, which can be open or closed, symbolizes an expression of life, showing both the beginning and end. It’s also used to express absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe and the wuji (the void).
Did you know?
The Enso is a popular symbol of Buddhism and Japanese calligraphy that is made with a single brushstroke that creates an unclosed circle. It’s also called the Infinity Circle, Japanese Circle, Zen Circle or the Circle of Enlightenment.
In essence, it exemplifies the various dimensions of the Japanese wabi-sabi perspective and aesthetic:
- Fukinsei (asymmetry, irregularity)
- Kanso (simplicity)
- Koko (basic; weathered)
- Shizen (without pretense; natural)
- Yugen (subtly profound grace)
- Datsuzoku (freedom)
- Seijaku (tranquility)
Regaining a spiritual and mental balance
The goal of this circle is to free the mind from thoughts of anger and fear. This freedom from paradoxical mindfulness can improve well-being as well as help you to enter a state of flow.
The point of it is deeply personal. Represents a spiritual and mental balance more than anything else. Depending on the artist’s intentions, you will encounter Ensō Circles left slightly open or entirely closed.
There are many different meanings about the Enso. According to many people, the white circle can indicate emptiness, or it can take on the idea that it contains all it needs within its center. On a social level, the Enso circle can be seen to symbolize harmonious cooperation between one another.
Furthermore, maybe the circle illustrates the cyclic nature of life: birth, death, and rebirth. Even seasons go through this cyclic process.
In meditation, the Enso indicates the perfect meditative state in which your mind is detached from all and in connection with the infinite. It provides a sense of calm, concentration, and rejuvenation.
Enhancing spiritual wellness onboard
The issue of seafarers’ wellness is particularly important as it is a profession that faces daily difficulties. For this reason, there are many practices that seafarers can use to make life on board more enjoyable. For example, meditation could be one of these practices. However, there are other techniques, such as the Enso circle.
Enso circle can remind seafarers that they should never lean toward one end of the spectrum in every aspect of life. This is often called “the middle path” that keeps them in a calm state. How does this circle connect to our daily lives and seafarers’ life?
The Enso teaches seafarers to find balance amidst the difficulties and the chaos of the sea. It’s a reminder to embrace imperfections and to live in the present moment with mindfulness.
- Journey: For seafarers, the journey across the oceans could represent their life’s journey. The Enso circle’s symbolism can relate to a seafarer’s voyage being a complete experience.
- Circle of life: Seafarers can connect Enso circle with their life at sea, where they experience cycles of departure, exploration, and return.
- Navigating Challenges: The act of drawing an Enso circle in one brushstroke can reflect the quick decisions and swift actions seafarers often need to make when navigating challenges on the sea. The circle’s creation in a single stroke mirrors the necessity for timely and well-considered responses.
- Connection with nature: Seafarers are intimately connected to the sea and nature. The Enso circle’s representation of unity and interconnectedness can reflect their relationship with the natural world, emphasizing the interdependence between humans and the environment.
Overall, this Japanese philosophy may encourage all individuals to appreciate the beauty of transience. It teaches us to embrace emptiness, to find beauty in the incomplete and seek enlightenment in the ordinary.