Ikkyu – Self-Appraisal


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.

Accompanying Calligraphy

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 – Rikyu


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

ZenArtExperience.com - 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:

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Namu Amida Butsu

Namo Amida Butso, by Shinran, (May 21, 1173 – January 16, 1263)

Founder of Jōdo Shinshū Pure Land sect of Buddhism.


Kannon by Junkyo

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.”

junkyo kannon scroll

Kannon by Junkyo

junkyo kannon

Kannon by Junkyo

And here’s a portrait of the artist:


The Artist, Junkyo

Jiun – Every Day is a Good Day

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

Jiun – Every Day is a Good Day