Enso and Zen Buddhism

After examining the influence of Shinto beliefs on Japanese art and tradition, we looked closely at Zen Buddhist beliefs and Zen influenced practices such as the tea ceremony, meditation in zen gardens, ikebana flower arrangement, calligraphy and wabi sabi— appreciating the beauty of imperfection.  We practiced looking for wabi sabi beauty around us, pointing out parts of trees, mossy earth, rotting leaves, and even a cicada shell.  We looked closely at the Zen symbol of the Enso- representative of satori (enlightenment), completion, and the natural state of mind.  Each child took a moment to close their eyes, connect to a still place within, and in one exhale, paint an Enso symbol.  

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