Ikkyu – Self-Appraisal
Rinzai’s descendants do not know Zen.
In front of Crazy Cloud, who dares to explain Zen?
For thirty years, on my shoulders I have carried
The weight of Shogen’s Red Thread Zen.
I am teaching you the gateway to essential Zen. Zen is endlessly discussed with empty phrases and pretentious words; all that effort goes on and on missing the mark…
Former Abbot of Murasakino Daitoku Zen Temple, Jun Ikkyu, world’s number one venerable priest.
THE ONE TRUE TASTE OF TEA
I share a sip of tea together with the spring wind and 10,000 peaks;
Then with my arms folded in my sleeves I contently stroll along the riverbank.
The One True Taste of Tea – Sen No Rikyu
Sen No Rikyu (1522 – April 21, 1591) based his calligraphy on the original two verses from a poem by Kaiseki (Chieh-shih), a Zen Master of the late Sung. The complete original poem goes:
Namu Amida Butsu
Namo Amida Butso, by Shinran, (May 21, 1173 – January 16, 1263)
Founder of Jōdo Shinshū Pure Land sect of Buddhism.
An extraordinary pair of geese by master artist Sesshū Tōyō, (1420 – 1506)
Geese – by Sesshu
One of the Pair of Geese – Sesshu
Two Geese by Sesshu
Kannon by Junkyo, the 20th century nun who had her arms sliced off by a mad man when she was 17 . The inscription is one of our favorites, “Every day is a good day.” Signed, “Painted without hands by Junkyo.”
Kannon by Junkyo
Kannon by Junkyo
And here’s a portrait of the artist:
The Artist, Junkyo
Jiun Sonja (1718-1804): “Every Day is a Good Day” is from the famous Zen Koan by 10th century master Unmon. Unmon said: “I do not ask you about fifteen days ago. But what about fifteen days hence? Come, say a word about this!” Since none of the monks answered, he answered for them: “Every day is a good day.”
Jiun – Every Day is a Good Day