Zen Tattoos To Show The World You're Open To The Infinite

August 9, 2016

|Julieta Sanguino

The unending search for meaning, the perfect balance and spirituality can be found in the shape of a circle. It’s a symbol of simplicity, integrity, and infinity. It is also known as the sumi circle, or the Enso. As part of the Zen tradition, it is a representation of our true self —a non-perfect shape— similar to our non-perfect soul.

It is always painted by hand, guided by the mental state of the person behind the stroke. A powerful Enso is balanced, and is a reflection of the good intentions of the spirit; an internal mind-set of harmony. The person painting an Enso must never close it, since it indicates an openness to infinity.

In ancient times, the Enso was painted with ink and a paint brush by Zen monks. They would sit perfectly still, meditate, and then find the perfect moment to quickly make the stroke on a piece of parchment. 

This circle is considered to be the supreme Zen token, which lights the way for monks. Since the VIII century, the Enso is represented in Zen paintings, and now it has been introduced to the modern world. It is not a task exclusive to the monks, everyone can now bear this beautiful brushstroke on their skins. If you have this beautiful symbol on your body, then balance will surely become part of you.

These are some ideas to find inner peace, and balance through the Enso

A highly stylized Enso on your back.

zen back 1

Your Enso can be accompanied by a quote to show the world how you feel.

zen quote

The contrast between black and bright colors symbolizes the balance found in the Enso.

zen black and color

Your whole body can be involved in its creation, starting out with your arm.

zen half body

Despite being a difficult spot, your shoulder is a good place to get an Enso tattoo thanks to its rounded form.

zen shoulder

You can give some movement to your design by placing a bamboo branch to interrupt the perfection of the circle.

zen branch

A perfect Enso can also decorate your chest.

zen chest

On the center of your back, and below your neck is the perfect place to express your spirituality.

zen back 2

An Enso in the middle of your waist.

zen waist

A lotus flower at the center of your Enso.

zen asian

A watercolor design is also beautiful.

zen shoulder color

A circle inside an Enso can represent perfection within imperfection.

zen inner circle

Your cat can be transformed into an Enso.

zen cat

Give a new look to your Enso by adding blue strokes.

zen forearm

Add colors to the design by interweaving them into the Enso.

zen back 3

A small circle that can be easily covered up with long hair, a more demure design.

zen black enso

Buddha and Enso can give your balance and strength.

zen buddha

On your back, Buddha, an Ohm, and an Enso will be the guardians of your soul.

zen ohm

Add some watercolor flowers to give it a more feminine touch to this Zen symbol.

zen flowers

The gap in its shape is open to infinite possibilities and can be filled with powerful words.

zen words

Your Enso can be part of nature if you make a design based on branches.

zen branches

Julieta Sanguino

Julieta Sanguino

Subeditora General