Monday, December 1, 2014

Circles in Life and Art

I was reading the blog of artist Mary Lou Dauray ( where she was discussing her recent trip to Japan.

Here is a calligraphic copy of one of venerable Thich Nhat Hanh's circle meditations:

"In Zen Buddhism, an ensō ( , "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). It is characterized by a minimalism born of Japanese aesthetics". (Wikipedia) 
Mary Lou was very recently was in Japan and experienced first hand the art and simplicity found in Zen Buddhist monasteries.  She saw circles in many designs, but none so important as in the calligraphic circles drawn by Zen monks.  Interesting to her is that even before visiting Japan, the circle had begun to appear in her art work referencing the consequences of coal burning, mining and transportation.  
Below is a photo taken of her most recent piece which decries the black holes in mountains destroyed by coal mining.  Let there be peace, healing and regrowth returning to these areas.
Mining In Them Thar Hills by Mary Lou Dauray

I also have been using circles in my work for quite some time in various forms. All of a sudden they started to appear and become an important element in my visual vocabulary.
House On The Hill by Linda Dubin Garfield

Resilient Retreat 3 by Linda Dubin Garfield

Far From The Familiar 5 by Linda Dubin Garfield

Ebb and Flow by Linda Dubin Garfield

And now, Thich Nhat Hanh,  beloved Zen Buddhist monk, author, teacher, poet and peace activist is very ill with a brain hemorrhage.  He has been a significant force for peace in the world.  I just ordered his latest book No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering through Amazon. Please offer healing thoughts for him.   May he be in a circle of healing love and peace.

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