Tao te Ching

1. The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth. The named is the mother of the ten thousand things. Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations….

Is that so?

The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbours as one living a pure life. A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child. This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much…

Kōdō Sawaki 沢木 興道

Kodo Sawaki (沢木 興道 Sawaki Kōdō, June 16, 1880 – December 21, 1965) was a prominent Japanese Sōtō Zen teacher of the 20th century. He is considered to be one of the most significant Zen priests of his time for bringing Zen practice into the lives of laypeople and popularizing the ancient tradition of sewing…

Duality and the Wise Man’s Office

2. Since the world points up beauty as such, There is ugliness too. If goodness is taken as goodness, Wickedness enters as well. For is and is-not come together; Hard and easy are complementary; Long and short are relative; High and low are comparative; Pitch and sound make harmony; Before and after are a sequence….

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!” “Like this…

Taisen Deshimaru

Born in the Saga Prefecture of Kyūshū, Deshimaru was raised by his grandfather, a former Samurai before the Meiji Revolution, and by his mother, a devout follower of the Jōdo Shinshū sect of Buddhism. Interested in the world, he abandoned his mother’s practices and studied Christianity for a long while under a Protestant minister before…

Shakuhachi : Goro Yamaguchi

Gorō Yamaguchi (山口 五郎,February 26, 1933 – January 3, 1999) a Japanese shakuhachi (vertical bamboo flute) player, was known for his musicality, phrasing, impeccable technique (and modesty) in solo and ensemble performances. He headed the Chikumeisha shakuhachi guild and became a world-famous Japanese performer and teacher. In 1967-68 he was appointed Artist in Residence at…

Teachings of the Honorable Daimin

silent prayers footsteps on the wooden Hojo porch the tigers move slowly Photography by Japanaibunka, Nanzen-ji Temple (26.03.16) Kyoto    

Shakuhachi : 西村 虚空 Nishimura Kokū

Kokū Nishimura (西村 虚空 Nishimura Kokū, 1915 – June 2002) was a master shakuhachi player, teacher, and craftsman. Like his teacher, Kyochiku Tani, Nishimura became a komusō (a mendicant shakuhachi player). Nishimura wandered Japan as a mendicant for ten years. Kyochiku Tani was trained in the Fuke sect. After the sect’s abolition in 1871, he…