En-so Calligraphy, by Inzan
The en-so encapsulates the moon and rays of light. By Inzan l'en.
According to The Blue Cliff Record by Hekiganroku 91, "the circle en-so is a symbolic representation of the absolute truth that cannot be expressed with words. It has neither a beginning nor an end and it's the essence of peace and happiness. Inzan compared the en-so to the circle of the moon shining brightly in the night sky. The light of the moon illuminates everything in the universe with its incomparable glow. The light of the moon is nothing but the nature of Buddha we all already have within us."
About Inzan I'en (1754-1817)
He was a master of the Zen Rinzai school and the founder of the Inzan school. Born in Echizen, he entered the Bengu Oiyama monastery when he was 9. Being 17, he went to practice Zen meditation with Gessen Zenne at Mushashi Nagata. He travelled widely but was unfortunate with the teachers he met. One day, he heard of Gazan, who was practicing Hakuin Zen Buddhism and he decided to become a monk and follow his teachings. After struggling a lot, he finally reached enlightenment aged 37. He carried on practicing and later, he became the Dharma heir of Gazan at 41. He then lived a secluded life in the Haruma mountains, close to Shikatani. He is the founder of one the two major schools of Hakuin Zen Rinzai, the second school being the Takuju Kosen one. He died in 1817 and was given the title Shotoji Ensho Zenji, the master of Righteous Light.