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May 31, 2023

Sometimes we can get into a rut, feel like we’ve lost our creative inspiration.  It's important to know that your inspiration is always there, you just need to find it again.  When I feel uninspired, I find that I can tap into my creative energy by looking at things from a different angle.  See things differently.
Here’s an example of seeing things differently.
Let’s look at the simple circle. Circles are everywhere. They are in nature, in our bodies (the cells and molecules that make up our body, the iris of our eyes…) and in the universe (the shapes and the curving movements of the sun, the moon and the planets).

How often do you really notice the circles you see? And what if you looked at the circle a little differently?
Let’s look at it as a sacred symbol.
Sacred geometry is a very ancient discipline that explores the philosophy behind the geometric patterns and shapes. Ancient Greek and Persian sages believed that the universe was created based on a geometric plan, that all forms of life were created from geometric codes. For millennia, ancient cultures and modern civilisations have been using geometry in architecture, art, philosophy, science, and of course mathematics to create harmony and beauty, to strengthen structure and composition, to create a foundation for spiritual teaching, to make sense of all creation. Geometric shapes have become archetypes, with specific symbolic meanings.
In sacred geometry, the circle is the shape from which all other figures are derived.
It’s a universal symbol with deep and sacred meaning. There is no beginning, no end, no direction and therefore it is a symbol of completeness, wholeness, totality, infinity. The spinning of a circle is smooth, flowing and endless and so it may be associated with progress and evolution.  It's a symbol of harmony.  And in some cultures it's the symbol of the soul.  
The centre of the circle is the point of origin of all shapes, and so represents creation and manifestation. The circle is empty...and also full...so there's the notion that we can create something from nothing.  The circle is a miraculous balance between nothing…and everything.
I invite you to get creative with circles!
Drawing a circle is a journey. There is a certain a satisfaction gained by connecting the beginning with the end, to make a delightful loop, a whole thing. It seems so simple to draw a circle. But the result is always different, unpredictable. You never know how it will turn out. And it’s absolutely impossible to create a perfect circle by hand, so you have to give up on the idea of perfect and surrender to the idea of creating something imperfect.
The Japanese word for circle is ensō. An ensō is a sacred symbol in the Japanese Zen tradition.  It's a circular form drawn with only one brush stroke and one breath to express a state of mind and heart at a precise moment in time. It symbolizes strength, togetherness, nothingness (the void), and enlightenment.  

Drawing an ensō is a meditative practice of letting go. You let go of the mind to let the body create. You let go of any expectations of how it will look, and any sense of perfection. The ensō is about appreciating beauty, elegance and joy in the imperfect, exactly as it is.  Here's how to draw an ensō, it's super easy, and I invite you do do this simple gesture with focused awareness, to make it a mindfulness practice.

  • Get yourself any kind of paper, a paint brush of any size (try the dollar store if you don't have one), and any kind of paint (watercolour, acrylic, India ink, even house paint).
  • Load your brush with paint.
  • Contemplate the empty space of the page.  Notice the feeling of the brush in your hand, the colour of the paint, and any other details of the experience.  
  • Begin to calm and clear your mind.
  • Take a breath, and on the exhale, holding your brush upright, place the tip of it on the page and make your circle in one of two strokes.
  • When you've finished, notice how it looks.  Don't try to redo anything.  It's perfect exactly as you created it.  And think about how it reflects your state of mind in this moment.
  • You can practice the ensō over and over, as many times as you like.

That's it!



Another circular art form is the mandala, an ancient and sacred art form that you can use to find harmony and balance and possibly some nuggets of wisdom for your personal journey.  

Believed to be a symbolic map of the Universe, mandalas have been used for centuries to help seekers create order and balance out of chaos and disruption, and as a way to connect with the sacred and higher purpose of life. There is ancient symbolic power in mandalas, and still today mandalas have power to help us stay grounded and calm in the midst of our own chaos. And to connect with our inner wisdom.

A mandala is an intricate, circular, geometric composition that you can create yourself.  The creation and exploration of your mandala can help you to find insights, to release negative energy and relax your mind.  Drawing a mandala from the inside out…or the outside in…is a journey!  And it’s fun to do.  Drawing a mandala is very much a meditation, a way to stay grounded in the present moment.  And anyone can do it with a compass, a protractor, a pencil and some felt-tip pens.


I invite you to take notice of all the circles in your life, from the plates you eat on to the irises of your loved ones and even to the cushion you sit on for meditation.  And to see these circles differently.



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