Thursday, November 8, 2012


The Japanese word ensō may mean "circle" but the Zen Buddhist concept it represents is far larger than a single word. It contains the ideas of enlightenment, cycles, unity, time, nature, the void, infinity, and the totality of the universe itself.

Imagine for a moment that you are man primeval, on a plane, looking out around you, with little or no linguistic skills, and certainly no scientific or objective knowledge of what you are seeing. Above you is a flaming circle, giving light and warmth. When that goes away, quite regularly as it turns out, it is replaced by a great white, glowing circle that inflates and deflates over a short period of time. The two of these things chase each other in a circle as they go from side to side in the sky. At night, the sky is peppered with tiny twinkling circles. On the plane around you, berries and fruits and flowers are circular. You turn in a circle, surveying the reality around you, as your body describes the shape of a circle, and you stand as the still point, the center of this circular universe. You are in the center of the circle. The still point of the circle is where ever you are. Plants grow, are harvested, it grows colder, tiny white cold circles fall from the sky, and then soon, the warmth comes back and the plants once again begin to grow. The circle of time. And reality is an endless circle which allows that to happen.

The circle is the first, original shape, the primary form, the sound of the universe...

"Everything comes around
Bringing us back again
Here is where we start
And where we end"
--Alison Goldfrapp

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