Way of Zen: Sui-Boku-Dō, ink-painting

 

Sui Boku Do Bobbi

How is it possible that a few fleeting strokes on paper can become alive as a fragrant flower, a rushing squirrel or rustling bamboo in the beholder's mind?

And how is it possible that just a subtle hint can have a greater effect on us, leaving us more deeply moved than any material phenomena do?

As practitioners of the Sui-Boku-Dō, the Way of Ink-painting, however, we do not ask such questions

Our dear friend Aoki Oshō-sama, Rinzai-Zen priest and ink painter, with Sōtetsu YūzenOur dear friend Aoki Oshō-sama, Rinzai-Zen priest and ink painter, with Sōtetsu YūzenWe simply paint. During our monthly ink Sundays (from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm) at the Kin-Mō-Zendō, we not only get to know the diversity of the motifs, but also experience body and mind in concentration and harmony - our Ego with its many desires, concerns and fears - and we learn to handle the materials and enjoy the refreshing second breakfast we share.

The Zazen exercise at the beginning and end of our ink-practice days helps us not to cling to the notion of wanting to create a "beautiful picture".

The more frequently we get to paint a picture undisturbed by an egocentric state of mind, the more inadvertently the motif appears all on its own.

This vividness, which cannot be produced by an Ego, is able to unite motif, painter, and beholder in a single moment left free of thoughts.

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Fools of ink they are,
dipping their brushes deeply
into heart's wellspring.

S.Y.

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