About Ensōrial

In Zen, ensō (円相 , “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 create1.

Ensorial is primarily an exercise in creativity and an experiment in communication. It’s a compressed version of my thoughts, feelings and experiences, preserved online.

Motivation

Much of my motivation for writing comes from my own disillusionment with the current state of the internet. To be clear, I’m definitely not an anti-internet luddite. It’s because of my love for what the internet is and what I believe that it means that I decided to write.

I believe that the majority of what we see and interact with these days on the internet is net negative. Partly this is due to the obsessive and mindless behaviour that companies that operate on the web are generally motivated to encourage. Part of it is that the content we are engaging with generally provides next to no benefit for the amount of time we feel as though we have to put into it. In 2016, people spent an average of fifty minutes per day on Facebook alone2. That is an astonishing amount of time. Imagine how much better off our lives would be if we put the same amount of time into exercising, learning a new skill or spending time with our loved ones. I’m fully aware that this is not new information. We all have a number of things that we do in a day where that time could have been better spent. It’s how we choose to respond to this information that’s interesting. This site is my response. It represents my vision for what the internet could be: slow, intentional, nourishing and worthwhile.

“Which is why I am writing this book. To think. To understand. It just happens to be the way I’m made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them.”3

I view this site as a mechanism for learning and experimentation. I spend a lot of time reflecting on the world around me, but these thoughts often aren’t developed to maturity or captured anywhere useful. Often I don’t fully understand something until I have written it down4. By the act of reading and writing, I hope to deepen my understanding of myself and the world around me. I hope that by putting my ideas out there in the wild, they will receive criticism, which in turn will help me to sharpen them.

The content

The content here will vary in subject matter, at least until I become more familiar and developed in my writing style and/or find an audience or a particular particular subject that interests me. Some things you can expect are:

  • Essays: Long form explorations of topics that are interesting to me.
  • Experiments: Logs and results from my self-experiments.
  • Collections: Collections are usually lists, frameworks or guides that are more prescriptive than essays.

It would be wonderful if others read what I write and derive some benefit from it, but honestly, that feels secondary to me. It would be an amazing benefit (not to mention incredibly) validating of the time I spend doing this, but it isn’t my primary aspiration.

Ethics statement

The only tracking software of any kind we use is Google Analytics to get page view and unique viewer statistics. One of my goals is to be incredibly privacy conscious. I want to know as little about you as possible. As such, we’ll never use any creepy trackers and encourage you to enable your adblocker (on this site and on others).

If I ever want to monetise this site, I’d like to do so in such a way that my incentives as the creator and in line with your incentives as the reader. Being user supported is an incredibly important goal for me but not a problem to solve for now.


  1. Ensō on Wikipedia

  2. James Stewart, “Facebook has 50 minutes of your time each day It wants more.”

  3. Haruki Murakami, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”

  4. This is partly my personality. I often feel as though I have a vague idea or a weak opinion on a topic and that usually my understanding is not deep enough to form strong convictions.