My new (and first) tattoo. I got it done by Denis at the Aloha Tattoo Studio in Karlsruhe, South Germany. See [link]
for more info on the studio and the artists.
It's an incomplete circle, inked in the likeliness of a brush drawing. These brush circles are called "Ensô" ( 円相 ) in japanese and are one of the central symbols of Zen. The english wikipedia article on the ensô
describes it's symbolism pretty well:
"Ensō is perhaps the most common subject of Japanese calligraphy, symbolizing enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void; it is also an "expression of the moment" and thus is often considered a form of expressionist art."
See the wikipedia article for more infos about the ensô circle as a zen symbol.
I chose the ensô not only because of it's symbolism, but also because I consider the imperfect look of asian brush drawings and calligraphy very aesthetically pleasing. A friend of mine remarked that the tattoo reminded him of the endless serpent that bites it's own tail (remember Ouroboros
I'd like to hear your thoughts on both the ensô and the tattoo
(... and don't feel shy to produce actual criticism; I consider myself mature enough not to take it personally and retreat into my room's corner, crying while hugging my knees ...)
The ensô design itself is a redrawn, modified version of an ensô brush drawing I found on the web - I don't have the URL anymore, but a simple google search should yield enough similar pictures.