Zen symbols are signs you can use to channel inner peace. You may not need zen symbols to practice the zen lifestyle, but they can help. Every sense that you put zen into will enhance your state of calm and enlightenment.

Zen Symbols

8 Zen Symbols To Enlightenment

1. Om

The Om symbol is a Hindu letter that is the sound of the universe. It’s a common sound and visual symbol in Zen meditation. 

2. Yin and Yang

The perfect balance of Yin and Yang represents zen. If you seek harmony, you can have the ideal zen mindset because peace and harmony are the center of enlightenment. 

3. Dharmachakra

The Dharma Wheel is a common symbol of zen. Each spoke represents a different philosophy that creates a perfect balance. Other parts of the wheel represent morality, practice, and meditation. 

4. Mala Beads

Mala beads are a popular tangible zen symbol. There are 108 beads on the common mala strand, with each bead representing one person and the strand representing how we are all connected. 

5. Bell

The Buddhist bell is used to summon monks and nuns and help them to live in the moment. They are common in the meditation process, often ringing in specific melodic patterns.

6. Enso

The Enso circle is a sacred Buddhist symbol of zen. It is a common Japanese calligraphy character that represents mindfulness. 

7. Hamsa

The Hamsa Hand is an old symbol found in many cultures. In zen Buddhism, it represents the chakras that flow through us and how mudras can help channel each one differently. 

8. Waterdrop

The waterdrop is a zen symbol of harmony and connectedness. It is a metaphor for spiritual purification and the metronome of life that keeps us grounded through enlightenment.

Animal Zen Symbols

  • Panda – an animal that avoids conflict and is immersed in symbolism in Eastern Asian cultures.
  • Deer – deer are peaceful animals who seem at one with nature.
  • Sloth – an animal that loves the simple things in life, never getting caught up in a rush.
  • Koi Fish – a common Japanese fish that represents yin-yang, peace, and longevity. 
  • Crane – another Japanese symbolic animal that represents longevity and peace, a common origami gift.

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