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.

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

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

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

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

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

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A perfect Enso can also decorate your chest.

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

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An Enso in the middle of your waist.

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A lotus flower at the center of your Enso.

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A watercolor design is also beautiful.

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A circle inside an Enso can represent perfection within imperfection.

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Your cat can be transformed into an Enso.

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

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

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

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Buddha and Enso can give your balance and strength.

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

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

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

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

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Julieta Sanguino

Julieta Sanguino

Editora en Jefe