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Enso - The 4 Elements

Thursday 11 February 2010, by Buddhachannel Eng.

Langues :

GIF - 45.5 kb
Thomas Matsuda Enso 2003
Fire, wood branches, twigs, earth, air, water

In Zen painting, the Enso is a circle drawn with sumi ink and brush on rice paper. It represents perfection amidst incompleteness.

This is an Enso of fire, air, earth, and water. A circle is made of branches, lit on fire and extin-guished with water. The circle of fire is transformed into a circle of water/steam and air/smoke. Black charred wood and ashes remain.

The charcoal and blackened earth conjure up ideas of life, death, and rebirth, as well as the burning away of illusions and desires — a reference to the fierce deities of Tibetan Buddhism. They are also a reminder of war, destruction of the earth, and corruption within ourselves. Enso reveals the close relationship between purification and destruction.

GIF - 177.4 kb
Forest Hills Park, Boston, MA with the Treveni Dance Troupe Wood, Fire, Water, Flowers. 20’ circle. 2004.

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