Zen Art

Time to Wake Up

There are two cockadoodling roosters in the Gallery, one by a Shinto hermit and one by a Zen master. Insulted by her naughty brother Susanoo, the Goddess of Heavenly Light, Amaterasu, hid herself inside a cave, thus depriving the world of light. The evil forces of darkness took over and began to create havoc. In … Continue reading

Zen Art

Zenmi—A Taste of Zen

The Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Florida, has recently published Zenmi—a Taste of Zen: Paintings, Calligraphy, and Ceramics from the Riva Lee Asbell Collection. The collection focuses on 20th-century Zen art. Some of the pieces were acquired from the Shambhala Zen Art Gallery. Works by artists now in the gallery are well represented in the … Continue reading

Zen Art

One Year Later

March 11 marked one year since the disastrous earthquake and tsunami struck Sendai, Japan, and the surrounding area. As I mentioned, all of my family members, friends, and colleagues fortunately escaped mortal danger, but many of them lost everything they had. Nonetheless, without exception, all of them have refused to be defeated by such a … Continue reading

Zen Art

Cutting to the Heart

Nakayama Hakudo is one of the greatest swordsmen of 20th century Japan and the father of iaido. He coined the term. Hakudo was active both before and after World War II. One of Hakudo’s key teachings is that regardless of what occurs—in Hakudo’s case the devastation of war and the defeat and occupation of his … Continue reading

Zen Art

In Your Face Daruma

As with a sculpted Buddha image, the eyes are the last two objects to be added to a portrait of Daruma. Many zenga Daruma portraits have their eyes painted in such a way that they seem fixed on the viewer regardless of the angle from which the Daruma is viewed. It as if the Daruma … Continue reading