Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Zen of Creativity Chapter 2

  1. #1

    Zen of Creativity Chapter 2

    Chapter 2 Mountains and Rivers

    As I spent time at Dai Bosatsu, I began to suspect that the key to the profound qualities I was seeing in Zen art was Zen practice, and that zazen – Zen meditation - was its foundation.

    FROM ANNE:


    This is an inspiring chapter to read. It continues with John Daido Loori’s spiritual journey from lay photographer to Zen artist/priest. He is exploring how practice interfaces with creativity… His own and his students. How he uses Buddhist texts to inspire.

    Once again JDL stresses his state of groundlessness, the not knowing what is coming next in his life. And what strikes me is his comfort in that place. He’s content and is confident that his path will be revealed.

    He also is called to work in collaboration with other artists in other mediums interpreting Dogan’s Mountain and Rivers Sutra with art. He describes how working with other artists opened them all to the Zen teachings in a new, fresh and profound way. And opened their creativity in new expansive ways.

    I find it comforting and inspiring that Zen Buddhism uses art making as a practice (traditionally calligraphy, zenga painting, tea ceremony, ikebana etc.). Meditation practice can enhance our artmaking. And artmaking can enhance our meditation practice.

    Lots to talk about in this 2nd chapter but here are some possible discussion points:

    -When we are in a state of groundlessness, we can see each moment as unique and fresh with a flexible, curious and open mind. As we have no expectations. Related to making art our aim is to trust the process and open to possibilities. To sit down to make a work of art in this way invites the sublime in, the unknown to work through us. When in this place it seems to me there is no room for self-consciousness or self-criticism. How to attain this precious place? Meitou’s directions to make your enso on an outbreath allows no time for thoughts to interfere. How to extend that silence, that trust? How to let go of expectations? Some of you experienced the fine consequences of a quiet mind in making your enso following the directions to sit at least briefly prior to the artmaking.

    -I know that other artist’s work can inspire me, even being in the presence of amazing artwork can charge me as though I am stepping into their creative aura. Working through creative ideas with another can do the same. Collaboration: does anyone have experience with that and if so, how did your work evolve? (Kokuu and Meitou collaborated on a chapbook of Kokuu’s writings. Possibly in a future prompt we will invite you to work with someone in your medium or another medium to create works, something to think about.)

    -Also, JDL discusses how he used certain Buddhist texts to inspire creativity. Is there a text that you find inspiring?
    Meitou’s prompt below will ask you to explore that.




    FROM MEITOU:

    Hello everyone and welcome to our second prompt.

    In this second part of the Crooked Path, John Daido Loori describes how he explored ways of bringing Zen teachings to life through photography and brush paintings, and then went on to interpret Dogen's Mountains and Rivers Sutra though 'visual imagery, sound, music, movement, and the words of Dogen'

    The prompt then is to explore how you would interpret something inspiring from your practice through a different medium. I'm not expecting anyone to produce a film representing the Heart Sutra ( although feel free to do so!) but to think about our Treeleaf chants, or a piece of text, some words, perhaps a haiku poem or similar that really resonates with you and to express how you feel about it personally using the medium of your choice. It doesn't have to be words either; we can be equally inspired by practice - a beautiful altar, sitting, bowing, chanting and/or sweeping the yard. Take some time to think about what inspires and then just let go and allow what ever comes to mind to manifest itself – a photo, some sounds, words, a drawing, another enso, embroidery, sculpture etc, let it happen. Interpretations can be as literal , as metaphorical and or as abstract as you like and as simple or complex – it's up to you. Remember, sit for a while before starting, and put aside self consciousness and judgement. Enjoy!

    I'm just posting here three of Dogen's poems, just in case anyone would like some extra inspiration. I feel that all of them could be interpreted literally or metaphorically.
    The verses are from Steven Heine's book The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace. Thank you Steven.

    To what shall
    I liken the world?
    Moonlight, reflected
    In dewdrops,
    Shaken from a crane's bill.

    Colours of the mountains,
    Streams in the valleys
    One in all, all in one,
    The voice and body of
    our Shakyamuni Buddha.

    Attaining the heart
    Of the sutra
    Are not even the sounds
    Of the bustling marketplace
    The preachings of the Dharma?

    Gassho

    Meitou and Anne

    ~st~

  2. #2
    Looking at other artists' work has been a constant inspiration for me. You describe it very well Anne, stepping into their creative aura somehow charges your own creativity. I feel something happening inside of me when that happens, something physical in my stomach, actually located where JDL describes the 'hara' as being located. I've never paid much attention to the idea of hara, but the feeling I'm talking about is in that area which has given me something to think about. I'm also inspired by words, something will often arise while I'm reading that starts to weave a visual story, not necessarily directly related but sparked and inspired by how I'm inhabiting the book or poem etc. There is always a fear of being derivative, I'm on my guard against that, and I'm also very careful about 'techniques- I see a lot of people who have found a technique which becomes their style, their trademark - I personally feel this is limiting and stifles the creative impulse, it can become a comfort zone and in a way it can be a bit of a cop-out; I don't know what others think about that.

    My first offering for the prompt is a little acrylic wash, done quickly and simply, in response to something by Master Dogen that I like very much. The quote is from Realizing Genjokoan, by Shohaku Okumura, in which Dogen is talking about how when we first seek the Dharma, we stray 'far from the bounday of the Dharma'. This idea of the the shore or the boat moving caught my imagination. It's rather like that strange sensation of being on a train in a station and a train on the next track moving away, there's a moment of not knowing who is moving, either could be true.

    If one riding in a boat watches the coast, one mistakenly perceives the coast as moving. If one watches the boat ( in relation to the surface of the water) one notices that the boat is moving.
    I made this little sketch, trying to frame the question 'Am I looking at the boat, or am I looking at the shore'
    Tomorrow I'll post a couple of photographic responses to the prompt.

    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah

    the boat or the shore.jpg
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  3. #3
    Dear all

    I utterly loved this chapter!

    Although I have read the book before I could not remember it and JDL's first encounter with his photography teacher and exploration on that workshop was beautifully told. How often do we find that state of being only to lose it and try to recapture the sense of innocence and openness?

    I find it very interesting to hear about how artists came to their work and how they developed. We often see them at the height of their powers once they have been accepted by the art world and can imagine they come fully formed without that process of growth from an initial seed.

    My background is in science and I have no sense of being an artist so nothing to live up to. This is very freeing. I am not bothered what people think of my work as I am not an artist, just someone having fun! I think this is harder and harder for established artists to hold onto as they know they will be judged and incorporate that judging into themselves (admittedly I do have this to some extent with haku but, again, do not see myself as a creative writer or poet so it is fairly fleeting).

    This is my small effort regarding Meitou's prompt...

    water

    Really enjoying this discussion and wonderful to find the book even better than I recall!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Last edited by Kokuu; 06-12-2019 at 01:47 PM. Reason: typos
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Dear all

    I utterly loved this chapter!

    Although I have read the book before I could not remember it and JDL's first encounter with his photography teacher and exploration on that workshop was beautifully told. How often do we find that state of being only to lose it and try to recapture the sense of innocence and openness?

    I find it very interesting to hear about how artists came to their work and how they developed. We often see them at the height of their powers once they have been accepted by the art world and can imagine they come fully formed without that process of growth from an initial seed.

    My background is in science and I have no sense of being an artist so nothing to live up to. This is very freeing. I am not bothered what people think of my work as I am not an artist, just someone having fun! I think this is harder and harder for established artists to hold onto as they know they will be judged and incorporate that judging into themselves (admittedly I do have this to some extent with haku but, again, do not see myself as a creative writer or poet so it is fairly fleeting).

    This is my small effort regarding Meitou's prompt...

    water

    Really enjoying this discussion and wonderful to find the book even better than I recall!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Kokuu, beautiful image and words!

    In recent days I've seen a couple of artists who post to Instagram lamenting that they aren't producing right now, or haven't in the last few weeks. Both were fresh from exhibitions which closed about a week ago. Wow, just take a day off! Where does that pressure come from to make new work and how does it arise? I think that while social media gives artists an enormous network and exposure which they wouldn't have had access to in the past, it also comes with a pressure to post continuously, keeping themselves on their followers feeds, constantly promoting themselves. I'm sure this comes from advice they receive as artists trying to make their living in an increasingly competitive environment and I wonder how this impacts on the creative impulse? I'm not saying it's necessarily a negative thing, it could be that it motivates people to keep working and trying new ideas - I'm not someone who believes that you can sit around and wait for the Muse, it's likely that she'll be busy elsewhere. This brought to mind the writing habits of one of my favourite authors - Anthony Trollope;

    Every day for years, Trollope reported in his “Autobiography,” he woke in darkness and wrote from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., with his watch in front of him. He required of himself two hundred and fifty words every quarter of an hour. If he finished one novel before eight-thirty, he took out a fresh piece of paper and started the next. The writing session was followed, for a long stretch of time, by a day job with the postal service. Plus, he said, he always hunted at least twice a week. Under this regimen, he produced forty-nine novels in thirty-five years. Having prospered so well, he urged his method on all writers: “Let their work be to them as is his common work to the common laborer. No gigantic efforts will then be necessary. He need tie no wet towels round his brow, nor sit for thirty hours at his desk without moving,—as men have sat, or said that they have sat.”
    From dailyroutines.typepad.com with thanks.

    In the past I've been one of the world's greatest procrastinators, even putting off till whenever things I really enjoy doing - who knows where that strange impulse comes from - but my salvation came from two directions - a counsellor friend who gave me two key words to use whenever I can feel coming on, 'Stand up'. The other was from the practice of samu, in which I find a purpose and pleasure in simple tasks. Somehow that mindset has become a habit, so now when I sit down to create something, instead of waiting for the muse to visit, I let go of thinking and just do. I no longer hesitate, brush in hand, afraid to make marks which are false or wrong, if they are, ok, I can just start again or repurpose them. Finding the way into that ineffable moment of before-thinking relates to the whole of my zen practice.

    Here are a couple of photos taken yesterday inspired by Zen practices which resonate with me.

    Bonshō

    Bonshō.jpg


    Samu

    Samu.jpg

    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  5. #5
    hello all,

    Meitou and Kokuu such very fine images for this project! I'm still pondering what to do with it. What I realize is that given a task, such as this I don't want to put just anything up. Gotta be good. Gotta be the best. Gotta be perfect. And I also realize that is not the spirit of this post, or this prompt. There is no best, perfect or good. So just do it, I tell myself. And I will. I do have an idea, but haven't had time to explore, but your responses are inspiring. Thank you both for that.

    For me making art promotes making art. Once I'm really in my studio and have found my groove I get in that river of creativity flow. I don't tire. That is until I have said what I wanted to say, or run out of time for an exhibition to be hung. And then when I go away and want to come back that can be a challenge. That is when I go to the museum, art exhibits, look at books... trying to get into that creative aura I mentioned before.

    Anyway, today I am preoccupied but tomorrow I want to sit down and think about strawberries. And Zen stories. And maybe do something. Fingers crossed.

    Gassho,
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  6. #6
    You all have me thinking quite a bit. I find JDL's search for a subject the most interesting part of his book. Sitting in hara, letting the subject speak. . . I have never gone about it quite like that. I do not know, for instance, what my subject is when I'm spinning yarn. But perhaps I can say that I let the material speak to me: when I go to the sheep farmer, I pick the fleece that excites me. I think, this fleece. This is the fleece. And I can hardly wait to get home to begin the work of turning it into yarn. I am very interested in color, hand feel, thickness, luster.

    I do not know if I could express anything about my practice in the finished yarn. But I do know that handspinning is part of my practice. The very act of spinning is a lot like zazen: breathing, not thinking, turning a wheel with no destination in mind, drawing out a long thread with no goal but to draw a long thread. No need to get better or to achieve anything. Just spin.

    I will have to think about how I could express this visually to the group.

    Loving so much this thread,

    Gassho,
    Kate

    SAT/lah
    Kate

  7. #7
    Thank you so much for the images/thoughts so far. I'm finding this project really inspiring and loving the JDL book.
    Will try to post an image over next few days - on holiday at the moment but have a sketch book and a few watercolour pencils with me.

    Gassho

    Jinyo

    sat today

  8. #8
    This Zen story is one of my favorites. I'm sure most of you know it:

    A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him. Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away at the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

    zen strawberry adjusted.jpg

    Gassho
    Anne
    ~lahst~

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kate View Post
    You all have me thinking quite a bit. I find JDL's search for a subject the most interesting part of his book. Sitting in hara, letting the subject speak. . . I have never gone about it quite like that. I do not know, for instance, what my subject is when I'm spinning yarn. But perhaps I can say that I let the material speak to me: when I go to the sheep farmer, I pick the fleece that excites me. I think, this fleece. This is the fleece. And I can hardly wait to get home to begin the work of turning it into yarn. I am very interested in color, hand feel, thickness, luster.

    I do not know if I could express anything about my practice in the finished yarn. But I do know that handspinning is part of my practice. The very act of spinning is a lot like zazen: breathing, not thinking, turning a wheel with no destination in mind, drawing out a long thread with no goal but to draw a long thread. No need to get better or to achieve anything. Just spin.

    I will have to think about how I could express this visually to the group.

    Loving so much this thread,

    Gassho,
    Kate

    SAT/lah
    Wow Kate, that is such a beautiful metaphor for practice - 'drawing out a long thread with no goal but to draw out a long thread' - wonderful! I can't wait to see how you express this visually, remember it can be as simple or as complex as you like.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    This Zen story is one of my favorites. I'm sure most of you know it:

    A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him. Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away at the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

    zen strawberry adjusted.jpg

    Gassho
    Anne
    ~lahst~
    I didn't know that story - such food for thought ( in more than one way) . Love the image Anne.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  11. #11
    Such a clear definition of being one with one's creative practice, Kate.

    I do not know if I could express anything about my practice in the finished yarn. But I do know that handspinning is part of my practice. The very act of spinning is a lot like zazen: breathing, not thinking, turning a wheel with no destination in mind, drawing out a long thread with no goal but to draw a long thread. No need to get better or to achieve anything. Just spin.
    According to JDL, if I understand correctly, everything truly creative that we express is a representation of everything about us (including our practice), we are our art,our art is us. I don't think that we have to make 'Buddhist' images to represent our practice. The point, to me, is to be totally present to our work. And you express that presence so beautifully.

    deep bows everyone for your participation.

    Anne
    ~lahst~

  12. #12
    I am loving this discussion and the reading of JDL's book. His Tea Ceremony with Maezumi Roshi really touched me (and this is from a guy who has never participated nor seen a Tea Ceremony outside movies and youtube videos). I particularly liked how Maezumi Roshi put a bowl to Soen Roshi and Yasutani Roshi. I usually drink tea alone, so it was really mind opening.

    Even more, Meitou's idea of sitting for at least five minutes before any art related work is great. I've been using it also to other things, like my own work and readings. It really heps us to abandon a little of the monkey mind that gets in the way of our work.

    This discussions have also led me to return to a long abandoned project of reading the "A Hundred Poets, One Poem" (Hyaku Nin Isshu) in the original Japanese version. It has been a real challenge, since my Japanese is not very good and the grammar used in poetry is very different from modern daily used Japanese (the kind I'm more familiar to in anime and movies). But the beauty of the poems are really inspiring me. I'm reading one poem a day (and even this is a challenge), using a dictionary, a grammar of Classical Japanese and the English translation I have.

    On the question of projects with other people, the only thing I have done was to play guitar with some friends a long time ago. And I can now remember how much I liked it, even if we kept making mistakes and the singing part was horrible, as nobody new how to sing. But I loved to see how a work like this can be correctly done in the JDL's video.

    I made a little calligraphy work again, with the Sandokai in mind, especially theses verses:

    The subtle Source shines clear in the light;
    The branching strems flow in the dark.
    To be attached to thing is primordial illusion;
    To encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment.
    IMG_3656.jpg

    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    This Zen story is one of my favorites. I'm sure most of you know it:

    A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him. Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away at the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

    zen strawberry adjusted.jpg

    Gassho
    Anne
    ~lahst~
    Anne,
    This story is so touching. I could form a real image of it, like a movie in my head.
    Thank you for the story and the beautiful strawberry painting.
    Gassho
    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH

  14. #14
    I do not know if I could express anything about my practice in the finished yarn. But I do know that handspinning is part of my practice. The very act of spinning is a lot like zazen: breathing, not thinking, turning a wheel with no destination in mind, drawing out a long thread with no goal but to draw a long thread. No need to get better or to achieve anything. Just spin.
    Kate,

    Just as Meitou respresented samu with a picture of her sweeping brush, could you not use images of fleece, spinning wheel, yarn or a mixture of all?

    I love the story of the strawberry too. Lovely picture, Anne!

    Really inspired by your practice of reading Japanese poems, Mateus, and your calligraphy. Thank you!

    I have on occasion done collaborative art projects, mostly adding haiku to someone else's artwork (my visual art is not so great!). These are two of Meitou's paintings which I used with her permission:

    stickleback

    beachside bar

    This is a very enjoyable conversation and source of practice for me!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  15. #15
    Thank you Kokuu, Mateus, Anne, Meitou and Kate. I feel we're well on the way to a collaborative project just by sharing.

    Some music lyrics - part of a music project I've been working on for some time. Normally performed part spoken (rap style) part sung to a drum beat. Inspired by the Heart Sutra. Will try to post audio version when back home from holiday.



    Heart Sutra – song lyrics

    Gate / Gate/ Parasamgate / Bodhi svhami/

    No sight/ No sound/ No touch/ No taste / No smell/
    No unifying consciousness as well/
    Where we are placed/ How to erase/ A way of being/ A way of seeing/
    A sense of self.
    And yet this peace
    This sense of peace.

    Without the cold can’t feel the fire
    Without some need can’t sense desire
    If we’re not bound – we can’t be free
    If there’s no you – then there’s no me
    And yet this peace/This sense of peace

    Met a vagrant on the street today
    He said, I cannot eat if you won’t pay
    And I’ll sell my karma anytime
    Or you could simply trade your life for mine
    And yet this peace
    This sense of peace

    In some far country
    So different to our own
    A child lies bleeding
    Dying all alone
    She’s been fed on rage
    And weaned on hate
    An accident of birth has sealed her fate
    And yet this peace
    This sense of peace

    We find ourselves on stony ground
    With pebbles sharp and weeds abound
    We think, we feel, we have desire
    We long, we hope, work and aspire
    And yet this peace
    This sense of peace

    We board a boat/ for the other shore
    Think over there/ we’ll hurt no more
    But the other shore/Is beneath our feet
    We cannot find/ if we don’t seek
    A sense of peace/This sense of peace

    What’s the opposite of prayer
    If you say there’s no god
    Is there no-one there?

    Threw my ideals in the fire of time
    It burnt them fast – then burnt this heart of mine
    In the charnel ground
    Clothe was stitched and bound
    To make a robe of grace
    Your original face

    And yes this peace
    This sense of peace


    Gassho

    Jinyo

    Sat today

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyo View Post
    Thank you Kokuu, Mateus, Anne, Meitou and Kate. I feel we're well on the way to a collaborative project just by sharing.

    Some music lyrics - part of a music project I've been working on for some time. Normally performed part spoken (rap style) part sung to a drum beat. Inspired by the Heart Sutra. Will try to post audio version when back home from holiday.



    Heart Sutra – song lyrics

    Gate / Gate/ Parasamgate / Bodhi svhami/

    No sight/ No sound/ No touch/ No taste / No smell/
    No unifying consciousness as well/
    Where we are placed/ How to erase/ A way of being/ A way of seeing/
    A sense of self.
    And yet this peace
    This sense of peace.

    Without the cold can’t feel the fire
    Without some need can’t sense desire
    If we’re not bound – we can’t be free
    If there’s no you – then there’s no me
    And yet this peace/This sense of peace

    Met a vagrant on the street today
    He said, I cannot eat if you won’t pay
    And I’ll sell my karma anytime
    Or you could simply trade your life for mine
    And yet this peace
    This sense of peace

    In some far country
    So different to our own
    A child lies bleeding
    Dying all alone
    She’s been fed on rage
    And weaned on hate
    An accident of birth has sealed her fate
    And yet this peace
    This sense of peace

    We find ourselves on stony ground
    With pebbles sharp and weeds abound
    We think, we feel, we have desire
    We long, we hope, work and aspire
    And yet this peace
    This sense of peace

    We board a boat/ for the other shore
    Think over there/ we’ll hurt no more
    But the other shore/Is beneath our feet
    We cannot find/ if we don’t seek
    A sense of peace/This sense of peace

    What’s the opposite of prayer
    If you say there’s no god
    Is there no-one there?

    Threw my ideals in the fire of time
    It burnt them fast – then burnt this heart of mine
    In the charnel ground
    Clothe was stitched and bound
    To make a robe of grace
    Your original face

    And yes this peace
    This sense of peace


    Gassho

    Jinyo

    Sat today
    Beautiful. Waiting for the audio.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH

  17. #17
    Jinyo,

    Such huge power in those words. And I too look forward to the audio. so very moving...

    And you are right sharing, in a sense, is collaborative.

    Gassho
    Anne

    ~st~

  18. #18
    Again WOW! Thank you Mateus for your calligraphic art, it's beautiful in its clear and open simplicity.
    And Jinyo, I have no words ( although here they come ha!) for how much I loved your lyrics, they stand alone even without the music. I've seen lots of Zen inspired poetry but I don't think I've ever read something so in touch with the eternal paradox of our personal practice.
    Thank you everyone
    Deep Bows
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  19. #19
    Mateus,
    How did I overlook your calligraphy? I just missed the link. So sorry. A wonderful use of space and color. The red egg coming into the frame from the right is a perfect balance to the script. Sorry I missed it until Meitou pointed it out.
    That is why there are two of us I guess!


    bows
    Anne
    ~st~

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    Mateus,
    How did I overlook your calligraphy? I just missed the link. So sorry. A wonderful use of space and color. The red egg coming into the frame from the right is a perfect balance to the script. Sorry I missed it until Meitou pointed it out.
    That is why there are two of us I guess!


    bows
    Anne
    ~st~
    No problem, Anne.


    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  21. #21
    Thank you everyone!
    I am touched by all your works in different ways.

    I enjoyed (re)reading the book so far.
    This time, I see more clearly how the flowing, developing life is shown in union with the developing art and artistic skills. Becoming one.
    A bit romantic, if you ask me... Having a family, booking expensive workshops without having the money... Roshis sitting in trees... Not knowing where to live and refusing to talk about... "Something will come up".
    I've seen more than one artist's life, developing very unpleasantly that way.

    Thinking about the prompt, I am having a hard ;-) time to see beyond our sitting Zazen.
    Sitting like a mountain. Already a wonderful, symbolic expression of all the teachings and practice and realisation.

    With the following from Master Dogen in mind, I finished the Suiseki,
    I was collecting and ageing parts for, for quite some time.

    An ancient Buddha said, “The mountains, rivers and earth are born at the same moment with each person. All buddhas of the three worlds are practicing together with each person.”

    If we look at the mountains, rivers, and earth when a person is born, his birth does not seem to be bringing forth additional mountains, rivers, and earth on top of the existing ones. Yet the ancient buddha’s word cannot be mistaken. How should we understand this? Even if you do not understand it, you should not ignore it. So, be determined to understand it. Listen until you understand.

    Is there anyone who knows what his birth in its beginning or end is like? No one knows either birth’s end or its beginning; nevertheless everyone is born. Similarly, no one knows the extremities of the mountains, rivers, and earth, but all see this place and walk here. Do not think with regret that the mountains, rivers, and earth are not born with you. Understand that the ancient Buddha teaches that your birth is non-separate from the mountains, rivers, and earth.

    (...)
    IMG_1449_small.jpg IMG_1470_small.jpg IMG_1457_small.jpg IMG_1474_small.jpg IMG_1467_small.jpg

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  22. #22
    Kotei,

    I had no idea what a suiseki was. So thanks for that bit of education. Your suiseki is a perfect fixture in the garden that surrounds it. Which brings up the question: is this your personal garden!!!?And it sounds as though you piece the stone together after 'aging' it. I'm mystified and intrigued. Thanks for posting. And I enjoy your comments regarding the somewhat woo-woo nature of JDL's narrative. Thanks for that slant!

    gassho
    Anne
    ~st~

  23. #23
    Thank you for the pictures and the knowledge of Suiseki, Kotei. I loved it. And it brought me ideas for my very very small garden. Everything I planted died because of the dry weather here. Perhaps a rock garden can be a good alternative.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today

  24. #24
    Thank you both.

    Anne, yes, that's part of the garden, I am living with. I started creating the section on the pictures 5 years ago.

    Maybe the garden itself would also fit into this prompt? Although there is no such thing as a Zen-garden, there is imho quite some Zen in Japanese (influenced) gardens.
    To me, it is also expression and celebration of our union with nature.
    It feels like our sense of beauty and being touched by it, developed in us, living as a part of nature.
    "A sunny clearing, the woods in the back, a little river below, some stable rocks by my side" is not only beautiful and calming, but also the right place to rest and settle. Water, wood, food, shelter, overview... all present.
    Beauty as a sense for automatically selecting the right surrounding for survival.
    A Japanese garden seems to be exploring this connection.
    Creating a blueprint of nature's forms and functions, that touch, soothe and activate a poetic state of mind.

    Some traditional elements in Japanese Gardens are objects, created from natural materials.
    Historical, aged building materials that continue existing and living a new life as a new object as part of the garden.
    Joining nature and culture, showing time and age and transformation, death and birth, connecting past and present.
    In Japan, these are often column parts used as stepping stones, old stone lanterns and such.

    In this case, it's a basestone, that is a misfit leftover of some stones, I got from a stone quarry.
    A sandstone sink from the demolition of an historical side building of a some hundred years old manor.
    A display stone that I found expressing 'Mountain' in a nice way and some basalt gravel that I've had for another project (the display of a hollow tree trunk, I salvaged from a garden around the corner).
    I played with the materials, I collected over the years and found the above fitting nicely together.
    Some tripod, lever, chain-block work later, the material was close to it's final position.
    I closed the sandstone sink's drain and filled it with sand, made a mixture of water, low-fat yoghurt, shredded moss and lichen and let it grow on the surface, the yoghurt being great nutrient solution.
    The light/shade and water conditions determine which lichen and moss grow on it,
    so this stinking 'aging' has to happen near the final display position.
    I cleaned the surfaces, removed the sand, opened the drain, added the gravel and positioned the stones finally.
    I am curious, how it will develop.

    Someone (I think it was a suiseki collector) called suiseki the most basic, oldest kind of art.
    Finding a stone that you find having a strong expression. Making a display that accents it. Displaying it unaltered.
    Raising an object out of the emptiness, by pointing with the finger at it.
    "Wow! look there!"

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    Thank you both.

    Anne, yes, that's part of the garden, I am living with. I started creating the section on the pictures 5 years ago.

    Maybe the garden itself would also fit into this prompt? Although there is no such thing as a Zen-garden, there is imho quite some Zen in Japanese (influenced) gardens.
    To me, it is also expression and celebration of our union with nature.
    It feels like our sense of beauty and being touched by it, developed in us, living as a part of nature.
    "A sunny clearing, the woods in the back, a little river below, some stable rocks by my side" is not only beautiful and calming, but also the right place to rest and settle. Water, wood, food, shelter, overview... all present.
    Beauty as a sense for automatically selecting the right surrounding for survival.
    A Japanese garden seems to be exploring this connection.
    Creating a blueprint of nature's forms and functions, that touch, soothe and activate a poetic state of mind.

    Some traditional elements in Japanese Gardens are objects, created from natural materials.
    Historical, aged building materials that continue existing and living a new life as a new object as part of the garden.
    Joining nature and culture, showing time and age and transformation, death and birth, connecting past and present.
    In Japan, these are often column parts used as stepping stones, old stone lanterns and such.

    In this case, it's a basestone, that is a misfit leftover of some stones, I got from a stone quarry.
    A sandstone sink from the demolition of an historical side building of a some hundred years old manor.
    A display stone that I found expressing 'Mountain' in a nice way and some basalt gravel that I've had for another project (the display of a hollow tree trunk, I salvaged from a garden around the corner).
    I played with the materials, I collected over the years and found the above fitting nicely together.
    Some tripod, lever, chain-block work later, the material was close to it's final position.
    I closed the sandstone sink's drain and filled it with sand, made a mixture of water, low-fat yoghurt, shredded moss and lichen and let it grow on the surface, the yoghurt being great nutrient solution.
    The light/shade and water conditions determine which lichen and moss grow on it,
    so this stinking 'aging' has to happen near the final display position.
    I cleaned the surfaces, removed the sand, opened the drain, added the gravel and positioned the stones finally.
    I am curious, how it will develop.

    Someone (I think it was a suiseki collector) called suiseki the most basic, oldest kind of art.
    Finding a stone that you find having a strong expression. Making a display that accents it. Displaying it unaltered.
    Raising an object out of the emptiness, by pointing with the finger at it.
    "Wow! look there!"

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    Kotei, this is the perfect embodiment of this project, your garden certainly does fit this prompt and I'm really glad you chose to share it with us. Please feel free to post more photos. Like Anne, I didn't know what a suiseki was- it's really inspiring! In fact, I might incorporate something from your post in a future prompt, as I think it's possible to combine some of these elements and create a 'garden', even for those folk who don't have a garden as such, or are able to access one. You've given me lots of ideas, thank you!
    Deep Bows
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •