Enso Calligraphy Workshop in the Tivoli Tea House


The workshop is filled. We will be hosting another evern later this summer.

Paper, ink, and brushes are provided. Space is limited.
(You need to be able to sit on the floor – cushions will be provided.)


Out of stock


The traditional Enso is a circle drawn in black ink on white paper, usually brushed by a Zen master in one breath. It’s one of the most common subjects of Zen calligraphy and is a direct expression of “this moment as it is.”

The paper is placed on the floor, the ink is freshly ground, a brush is selected and the calligrapher, kneeling in front of the paper, begins the stroke from the lower left up and around into a circle. One fluid motion. Some are thick, some fat, some wobbly and lopsided. Some are black swaths of ink, sometimes the brushwork breaks apart in a flying stroke.

Most of the Enso have a phrase written next to them called “San” that gives added meaning to the circle. Sometimes it’s a fragment of a poem, sometimes it’s one word. Some are witty, “Is this a rice cake?” Others are more poetic, “My heart is like the autumn moon.”

We will try our hand at making Enso in the Tea House. We'll have books on haiku to reference for poems to write next to our Enso. There will be a short talk beforehand on Zen and calligraphy and all materials will be provided.



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