Nature inspires awe in me; light bursting through cloud, water carving rock, a single tree quietly reaching for sky. Fleeting as they may be, in these moments there is nothing wrong. The abuses and destruction humans have and continue to inflict on each other, and the earth, are suspended in a moment of refuge. Meditation offers me similar refuge, although I find it sustains longer. Both activities breathe spaceinto my heart.
With this space I can then step forward, to engage the daily horror to, as Gandhi said, be the peace I want to see in the world. I am hopeful these images will breathe space into your own heart-mind so you, too, can step forward to be peace toward yourself and others.
Zen practice is not something distant or esoteric. It is simply and fully being ALIVE;hiking being the path, painting mountains being mountain, doing dishes, being water and scrubbing pots.
I began Zen practice in 1996. In 2010, I received lay ordination in the Rinzai Zen tradition and my teacher, Shodo Harada Roshi, gave me the name EKan, with which I sign paintings. EKan can be translated as the ‘blessing/wisdom borne of seeing with one’s whole being’.
In the most graced moments in the painting studio, I get out of the way and something else sees and breathes through me. Sometimes, that expression is meticulous in its interpreting the natural world. Sometimes it is gestural, bold, even fierce. You’ll see expressions of both here.