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Enso: The Timeless Circle
Enso: The Timeless Circle

This is catalog was produced in conjunction with exhibition, "Enso: The Timeless Circle" held at the Robyn Buntin of Honolulu Gallery in 2008/2009.  Enso are the circles used in East Asian Buddhism to visually express Zen teachings on paper with a brush and ink. The Zen circle can represent many things-enlightenment, the universe, perfection, infinity, emptiness, the mind, the moon, enlightenment, and even a tea bowl or a sweet cake. Sixty-two enso are reproduced in color, both the image itself and the full-length of the scroll, with translations and commentary by Professor John Stevens. The enso paintings date from the 13th century (the oldest enso painting known) to the present, with examples produced in Japan and in the West.



About the author, John Stevens

John Stevens lived in Japan for thirty-five years, where he was a professor of Buddhist studies at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai. Stevens is a widely respected translator, an ordained Buddhist priest, a curator of several major exhibitions of Zen art, and an aikido instructor. He has authored more than thirty books and is one of the foremost Western experts on aikido, holding a ranking of 7th dan Aikikai. Stevens has also studied calligraphy for decades, authoring the classic Sacred Calligraphy of the East.

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