Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Daruma Enso by Nakagawa Soen

Not one moment of hurry,
Not one wasted breath,
This, this is
The natural Zen state of being!


by Nakagawa Soen (1907-1984)
Mitta was Soen's Zen master name.

This wonderful Zenga is combination moon-mind enso, wall-gazing Daruma,  self-portrait, and Dharma talk. The inscription sums up Soen's Zen teaching--so simple to say, so hard to do. It is an inspiring and instructive work of Zen art.

About the Artist

Zany Nakagawa Soen was one of the pioneers of Zen in the United States. He was abbot of Ryutaku-ji in Japan where a number of prominent Western Zen elders trained, and Soen also visited the United States on a number of occasions. Soen was extremely unconventional leading students out of the meditation hall to dance together beneath the moon, installing a pumpkin in the abbot's seat, conducting "tea ceremonies" with instant coffee and Styrofoam cups, cracking jokes during his Zen talks and thus somewhat controversial. Nevertheless, Soen was an excellent poet and accomplished Zen artist.

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