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Sweetcake Ensō

In Zen Buddhist painting, the ensō, or brushed ink circle, symbolizes a moment when the mind is completely unfettered and true reality is allowed to manifest itself.  There are a lot of different types of ensōs, e.g. mirror ensō, moon ensō, universe ensō, each type expressing a subtly different meaning. These calligraphic circles are profound but they are not abstract, and when enlightenment and the acts of daily life-"sipping tea and eating rice cakes"- are one, there is true Buddhism.  The sweetcake ensō expresses this realization.

A unique traveling exhibit of sweetcake ensōs, including works from traditional calligraphers as well as more contemporary renderings, will be inaugurated at the Empty Hand Zen Center on October 2 and 3.  One of the pieces from the exhibit, Life and Death by Zen Master Nonin Chowaney, is shown above. Additional information about the exhibit, as well as artwork and writings from prominent scholars and American Zen teachers can be found here

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