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Thread: Treeleaf Art Circle: Enso

  1. #1

    Treeleaf Art Circle: Enso

    enso1.jpg


    I thought it would be a good idea to restart the Art Circle with zero, and I have been trying to put together a fancy presentation on the Enso.
    Then something interesting happened... there is a lot of material out there on the Enso, but for all that material.. there is very little said.

    ...beyond the same basic things.


    enso 2.jpg


    This quote sums up what can be found about the symbolism...


    It can symbolize emptiness or fullness, presence or absence. All things might be contained within, or, conversely, excluded by its boundaries. It can symbolize enlightenment, or it can symbolize the moon, which is itself a symbol of enlightenment—as in the Zen saying, "Do not mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself." Julia Hardy

    enso 3.jpg


    ......and the act of painting the Enso can be summed up nicely by this entry from Wikipedia....


    In Zen Buddhism, an ensō (円相 , "circle" ?) is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. The ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void).

    enso 4.jpg


    It says a lot that Wikipedia has a pretty good entry on this. The Enso is not esoteric. It has depth, but it is a depth we can all relate to......



    enso 5.jpg


    The Enso is a symbol that has thoroughly entered western culture. It pervades the marketplace and is completely taken up by pop culture. A trip to the local "natural" grocers yesterday turned up the Enso on labels for a variety of products, none of Asian origin.

    ....and yet I do not think this pop culture and commercial appropriation has degraded the Enso in any way. It remains a simple circle made with a free and beautiful gesture, and it just glides through, always somehow pure.




    So... Please make an Enso! Make it from any material you like on any scale you like... but please do it in PLAY.



    When you have made an Enso please share on this thread. There is no judgement, no competition, there is just your Treeleaf community. If you would like to write anything about the Enso, please do. Poetry, photos of accidental Ensos of all kinds, it is all good.



    Thank you and Gassho

    Daizan

    sat today
    Last edited by RichardH; 03-02-2017 at 12:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Daizan and I were talking music making tonight, so I thought I'd play with the idea of the Enso in music composition and performance.

    At an obvious surface level, the Enso is a loop, and music is replete with loops - repeating phrases and rhythms, samples, tape loops, etc. It also represents motion / action and creation "at once" - without inhibitions or overthinking.

    So here was my concept: Record or sequence a series of musical phrases of differing lengths (3bars+14beats, 6bars+4beats, etc.) using instruments Daizan and I were discussing earlier tonight.

    - Kawai K5000S - a very cool digital additive synth
    - Moog Mother32 - a very warm analog subtractive synth
    - A piano - like the truly analog kind
    - A synthesized / sampled electric piano (Rhodes)

    Since the loops are not the same length, they will not repeat with the same period, the melodies and themes and rhythms will get out of phase with each other (some of you may recognize this technique from Steve Reich's "Piano Phase" and others).

    Anyhow, so I set up all these loops to run on their own, while I could move between them tweaking the synth patches, adding effects (filter, tape delay, reverb, etc.).

    As a first time out of the gate for this sort of live loop based performance, I kept things fairly slow moving and ambient (so I could tweak and play without too much pressure). It was fun even if it ain't great art. ^_^

    https://soundcloud.com/circumjacence...ce-127-minutes

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat #looped
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    BTW: This video sort of shows how two different length loops creates an interesting evolving structure of phrases (using Steve Reich's "Piano Phases"):




    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  4. #4
    Enso. Never totally open, never totally closed. Nothingness surrounded with stuff, surrounded with nothingness.

    Thank you, Daizan.

    I drew this inspired by your words.

    CsfvJoiUsAAJBCs.jpg


    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  5. #5
    Thank you Kyonin and Sekishi .

    Gassho
    Daizan

    Sat today

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekishi View Post
    Daizan and I were talking music making tonight, so I thought I'd play with the idea of the Enso in music composition and performance.

    At an obvious surface level, the Enso is a loop, and music is replete with loops - repeating phrases and rhythms, samples, tape loops, etc. It also represents motion / action and creation "at once" - without inhibitions or overthinking.

    So here was my concept: Record or sequence a series of musical phrases of differing lengths (3bars+14beats, 6bars+4beats, etc.) using instruments Daizan and I were discussing earlier tonight.

    - Kawai K5000S - a very cool digital additive synth
    - Moog Mother32 - a very warm analog subtractive synth
    - A piano - like the truly analog kind
    - A synthesized / sampled electric piano (Rhodes)

    Since the loops are not the same length, they will not repeat with the same period, the melodies and themes and rhythms will get out of phase with each other (some of you may recognize this technique from Steve Reich's "Piano Phase" and others).

    Anyhow, so I set up all these loops to run on their own, while I could move between them tweaking the synth patches, adding effects (filter, tape delay, reverb, etc.).

    As a first time out of the gate for this sort of live loop based performance, I kept things fairly slow moving and ambient (so I could tweak and play without too much pressure). It was fun even if it ain't great art. ^_^

    https://soundcloud.com/circumjacence...ce-127-minutes

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat #looped
    Whoa. Such beautiful sound! You should submit that to the Hayden Planetarium to use as a soundtrack to the stars!

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  7. #7
    Very nice Sekishi. Not related to Enso but I've experimented with stacking loops of different lengths a bit as well. I like the accidental contrasts that are created as various loops phrases line up. A lot of interesting music can come out of doing this.

    Gassho
    Warren
    Sat today

  8. #8
    Thank you for the exposition, Daizan. I think that the beauty of enso lie in their simplicity.

    Love both the contributions of Sekishi and Kyonin. I would never have thought of sonic enso.

    Here is one I made earlier: http://s475.photobucket.com/user/win...0de06.jpg.html

    And a haiku (I know, surprise!):

    empty sky
    a bird traces the outline
    of the letter O


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  9. #9
    Thank you Kokuu, that is a beautiful enso. The name Winterfool is also beautiful.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    Sat today

  10. #10
    I don't consider my self artistic but the article prompted me to find an enso around me and this is what I found.
    Ensos hanging around and sitting .jpg

    Kyousui - strong waters 強 水

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    As I've written about before in the art circle, I sometimes play around with custom software to apply cellular automata rulesets on the pixels in images. In particular I am very interested in "non-destructuve" and simple rules that adhere to the following three commandments:

    1. The rules must be "non-destructive". No pixel is ever overwritten, only swapped with a neighbor. This means that no "information" in the image is ever created or destroyed, only re-arranged.

    2. The rules must be "local" - for each pixel in the image, the rules can ONLY examine the 8 pixels immediately surrounding it (e.g. to the N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, and NW). This means that any interesting higher-order patterns that emerge come from rules that only operate at a local level.

    3. Images are treated as "spherical" and "continuous" (e.g. when looking at neighboring pixels at the edge of the image, we wrap-around to the other side of the image).

    Further reading on the general topics:
    - http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Turmite.html
    - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_Game_of_Life


    Anyhow, this afternoon I fed Kokuu's Enso and Dogen quote into my pixelsorting "turmites", and recorded the result as a stop-motion animation (apologies, it was recorded by a smartphone on a trippod, so the results are pretty low-fidelity but probably still best viewed at at least 720p):



    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat #sortedpixels
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekishi View Post
    1. The rules must be "non-destructive". No pixel is ever overwritten, only swapped with a neighbor. This means that no "information" in the image is ever created or destroyed, only re-arranged.
    Just to drive this point, home -- all operations in the sort are reversible. No information is lost during the sort - the original image is still there, just manifested in a different form.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat #belabouredtheobvious
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  13. #13
    That is really interesting! Thanks, Sekishi! It looks like sand .

    My PhD research brushed up against artificial life and Conway's Game of Life as I used cellular automata models to simulate the interactions between plants in a grassland ecosystem.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    My PhD research brushed up against artificial life and Conway's Game of Life as I used cellular automata models to simulate the interactions between plants in a grassland ecosystem.
    That is awesome!

    In college I worked with the Physics department to use cellular automata modules to simulate a number of scenarios (such as fluid dynamics). Nowadays I just play with them because they are beautiful.

    I also thought it might be timely as there was a discussion of Conway's Game of Life at the Treeleaf Coffeehouse last week.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat

    P.S. I hope you don't mind me destroying your beautiful image Kokuu. Gassho.
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by TomSchulte View Post
    I don't consider my self artistic but the article prompted me to find an enso around me and this is what I found.
    Ensos hanging around and sitting .jpg
    Hi Tom . Thankyou!

    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sat today

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekishi View Post
    Just to drive this point, home -- all operations in the sort are reversible. No information is lost during the sort - the original image is still there, just manifested in a different form.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat #belabouredtheobvious
    Something about that matters.... I don't know how, but it does.

    Gasho
    Daizan

    Sat today

  17. #17
    You guys are so awesome. I feel like my "right brain" is getting a badly needed education.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  18. #18
    Experimenting with different brush and smudge settings on Procreate (on ipad). Inspired by the potential of a tablet as a canvas... also just realized this could go here.

    2017-03-04.jpg

    .... it is a study for the halo behind a character in a graphic novel


    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today
    Last edited by RichardH; 03-05-2017 at 02:55 AM.

  19. #19
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Love the color in your halo Daizan!

    Here is a little iPad doodle enso with just a touch of color:



    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Another iPad doodle enso, lightly pixelsorted.



    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  21. #21
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Last one. An unexpected enso is displayed when uploading a photo via Tapatalk:





    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  22. #22
    I am useless at creating art. However, I have this beautiful Enzo by Kaz Tanahashi on the wall of my office.



    Gassho,

    Kirk
    I know nothing.

  23. #23
    and neither are they otherwise.


  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
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    Kirk, every time I drop by that thread I admire how beautiful that enso is. Is it an original? I have seen a few of his ensos before and I am always blown away by the use of color.

    Gassho, sat today
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  25. #25
    Sekishi, thank you for introducing the creative, and technically beautiful interlacing and recitations of four part harmony, and all voices inverted and then repeated back on themselves. Of course you know the work of Philip Glass.
    Thank you so very much Sekishi.

    Tai Shi
    std
    Gassho
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  26. #26
    A Dharma sister gave me this mala before I left for a Buddhist College when I was younger (schools inside some of the monasteries in Asia where monastics, and sometimes lay people, study). Her gift felt like an important moment at the time, and I've thought the mala looks like an enso.IMG_0048.JPG

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Yesterday for a work project I was given some very low resolution images that needed to be used in a very high resolution application. Scaling them up resulted in unslightly pixelation that required LOTS of editing and retouching. This left me thinking about the difference betweens scaling digital photos (with square pixels) and film photos (with round film grains). THAT sent me down a path of writing a little application for turning "square pixels" into "round pixels" (e.g. by drawing circles). During the writing I started playing with the idea of allowing the user to vary the circle size and transparency while the process is underway - to make it more interactive.

    After some playing around, here is what I ended up with:

    - On the source image, pick a random pixel and get its color
    - On the target image, draw a circle using the color and location of the random pixel
    - Allow the user to vary the size of the circle at any time
    - Allow the user to vary the transparency of the circle
    - Add some randomness to the size and transparency (e.g. the user has some control, but there is constant natural variation)
    - Repeat (at least) a few hundred thousand times...

    I found that the result could be sort of "painterly" by starting with large transparent circles (analogous to a "wash" or "underpainting") and moving towards smaller less transparent circles to fill in details.

    Quote Originally Posted by kirkmc View Post
    I am useless at creating art. However, I have this beautiful Enzo by Kaz Tanahashi on the wall of my office.
    So I took Kirk's Enzo by Kaz and let the system play with it for an hour or so. I'd come by periodically and push the circles smaller and a little less transparent. The result is a circle made of circles!
    snapshot-107-enso-final-800sq.jpg

    Since this whole thing was precipitated by thinking about how to enlarge images, here is the actual image, twice as large as the version kirk posted:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jg79iiq0fq...final.png?dl=0

    Anyhow, thats my silly project to avoid sleep last night.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  28. #28
    Hello,

    found some leftover oakwood veneer and decided to play with it.
    Thinking about such a simple form with complex associations, the Möbius strip came to my mind.
    Children play with it, experts didn't knew how to model it until recently.
    A surface in the 3 dimensional space, with only one side and one boundary.
    Cutting the strip along it's middle line will not result in two - but one with doubled length.
    Just playing with wood and trees and frames... Curious, how fast it will fade away.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.

    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  29. #29
    Hey Kotai,

    Would love to see your work, but the video says unavailable. =(

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  30. #30
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Would love to see your work, but the video says unavailable. =(
    Same here. Could it be set to private?

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  31. #31
    Sorry, yes, set it to private, should've been 'not listed'.

    Thank you!
    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    Hello,

    found some leftover oakwood veneer and decided to play with it.
    Thinking about such a simple form with complex associations, the Möbius strip came to my mind.
    Children play with it, experts didn't knew how to model it until recently.
    A surface in the 3 dimensional space, with only one side and one boundary.
    Cutting the strip along it's middle line will not result in two - but one with doubled length.
    Just playing with wood and trees and frames... Curious, how fast it will fade away.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.

    Lovely..

    Gassho
    Washin
    st

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    Hello,

    found some leftover oakwood veneer and decided to play with it.
    Thinking about such a simple form with complex associations, the Möbius strip came to my mind.
    Children play with it, experts didn't knew how to model it until recently.
    A surface in the 3 dimensional space, with only one side and one boundary.
    Cutting the strip along it's middle line will not result in two - but one with doubled length.
    Just playing with wood and trees and frames... Curious, how fast it will fade away.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.


    Beautiful work Kotei ... cool how you have it floating in space and time. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  34. #34
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    This is fantastic! I always like it when mathematics and art are mixed together. ^_^

    Thank you for sharing.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  35. #35
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
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    Really lovely!

    Gassho, sat today

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  36. #36


    Kotei sattoday.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  37. #37
    Wow! ❤️
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  38. #38
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Processed a frame of Kotei's beautiful video with an updated version of my "dots" script from earlier:

    - First pass: make large transparent circles based on colors at random points
    - Second pass: very small "film grain" style dots based on colors at random points (this second pass really helps to add details).

    I let the first pass run for about 40 minutes, and the second for around 8 hours.

    High resolution version:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/m4tjedx7hb...obius.png?dl=0

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat


    Sent from my Tricorder using Tapatalk Pro
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  39. #39
    Sekishi!

    I very much like, how the different color saturations and contrasts turned out. It looks a lot more "3D".
    In this garden with a pond, large trees and a river close by, there are moments in the early morning,
    where the fog moves away and the warm colours of the sun are breaking softly through the trees.
    Looking at your picture feels like those moments.
    The video was taken early afternoon with the sun coming from the west,
    but this mentioned foggy occasions usually happen in the morning with enlightenment from the east.

    I have a preference for works, where the artist somehow from a certain point on, takes visibly itself out of the equation.
    For me, that resonates very much with what I feel as "Buddhist" or "Zen" art.
    Thank you for adding that dimension!

    I once worked as a programmer for an artist.
    She was working on 'copyright' and we did some automatic art-generators with words and pics from the net. ;-)
    Usually, I am finding this in more traditional ways, like designing, forming, developing with the garden.
    Found a really nice stone, while setting 500tons of them. Put it aside and recently found a way to display it unaltered.
    Suiseki, maybe being one of the most basic forms of art. "Hey, look at that stone".
    Raising a thing out of the meaninglessness by pointing at it. (Well, actually by making a nice, fitting stand for display).

    In short... I feel your digital works very much related to the ancient 'Zen' arts this way.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  40. #40
    After having seen some of the beautiful images and videos here, I feel a bit shy about posting the little film I made last year but I will anyway I took part in an Enso project initiated by a Facebook contact who is also a Buddhist, artist and writer. The idea was to make an Enso a day, using the breath as part of the process. It was a lovely experience. I'm currently doing another drawing project with her, a month of mindful drawing, which involves meditation and presence, I'll post that in another thread. Now let me see if I can rise to the challenge of posting a video Edit : Yesssss!
    Gassho
    Sat with you all today

  41. #41
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
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    Frankie, it was nice to see how your ensos evolved!

    Gassho, sat today
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    After having seen some of the beautiful images and videos here, I feel a bit shy about posting the little film I made last year but I will anyway I took part in an Enso project initiated by a Facebook contact who is also a Buddhist, artist and writer. The idea was to make an Enso a day, using the breath as part of the process. It was a lovely experience. I'm currently doing another drawing project with her, a month of mindful drawing, which involves meditation and presence, I'll post that in another thread. Now let me see if I can rise to the challenge of posting a video Edit : Yesssss!
    Gassho
    Sat with you all today
    Lovely expression Frankie! =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  43. #43
    While i painted with my kids i had the idea to paint my first enso and give myself a try in calligraphy..

    Gassho
    Ben

    Stlah

    Last edited by hishiryo; 03-26-2019 at 08:46 PM.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by hishiryo View Post
    While i painted with my kids i had the idea to paint my first enso and give myself a try in calligraphy..

    Gassho
    Ben

    Stlah

    Lovely. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  45. #45
    Sorry Ben, it's too perfect

    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  46. #46
    Thank you :-)


    Gassho, Ben

    St

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by hishiryo View Post
    While i painted with my kids i had the idea to paint my first enso and give myself a try in calligraphy..

    Gassho
    Ben

    Stlah

    That's beautiful, worthy of framing. What does the calligraphy say?
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  48. #48
    Thank you meitou, it says MUSHOTOKU :-)

    Gassho,
    Ben


    St

  49. #49
    Well you have all inspired me to give it a go. Here is my attempt at drawing an enso.

    It is also my first time giving calligraphy a go. It is very calming!

    Gassho,

    Junkyo
    SAT

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk

  50. #50
    Beautiful! And thanks for giving me a reason to revisit this thread and live vicariously through you artistic folks for a bit.
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

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