Prior to the Christmas holiday, a dear friend reached out and commissioned some ensos. These were to be particular ensos incorporating a semicolon, which was brought into focus as a simple of hope and journeying forward through the semicolon movement / Project Semicolon.
Here is a photo of one of the ensos I painted below, with an explanation of each element (the enso, the semicolon, and the phrase placed with it):
In Zen, the enso is a circle that is usually painted in one brushstroke, sometimes two, to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. It is considered abstract minimalist fine art. The enso is not about creating a “perfect” piece of art, rather the purpose is to authentically express “this” moment. The enso can symbolize our journey, the universe, enlightenment, awakening, life, and what I like to call “perfect imperfection.”
The semicolon (as expressed by Project Semicolon), “…is to restore hope and confidence in people who are troubled by addiction, depression, self-harm, and suicide. The semicolon symbolizes that the difficulties they face are not the end but a new beginning. A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”
The mantra/phrase, “It’s just one breath”, is a phrase I’ve heard the meditation and Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg use often. I have often incorporated this mantra into my meditation practice from time to time. When life or situations can feel overwhelming, it can be a wonderful salve to bring oneself back to this present moment, one breath at a time, remembering that “it’s just one breath.” I thought this phrase made for a beneficial pairing with the semicolon and the enso.
*Please note: Although meditation can be a beneficial and fruitful companion to professional medical or therapeutic help, it is not a substitution for these in the case of severe or clinical depression. It is best to seek professional advice when incorporating a meditation practice.