The Zen Art Book
The Art of Enlightenment
Publication Date: November 3, 2009
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When a Zen master puts brush to paper, the resulting image is an expression of the quality of his or her mind. It is thus a teaching, intended to compassionately stop us in our tracks and to compel us to consider ultimate truth. Here, forty masterpieces of painting and calligraphy by renowned masters such as Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768) and Gibon Sengai (1750–1837) are reproduced along with commentary that illuminates both the art and its teaching. The authors’ essays provide an excellent introduction to both the aesthetic and didactic aspects of this art that can be profound, perplexing, serious, humorous, and breathtakingly beautiful—often all within the same simple piece.
John Daido Loori (1931–2009) was one of the West's leading Zen masters. He was the founder and spiritual leader of the Mountains and Rivers Order and abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery. His work has been most noted for its unique adaptation of traditional Asian Buddhism into an American context, particularly with regard to the arts, the environment, social action, and the use of modern media as a vehicle of spiritual training and social change. Loori was an award-winning photographer and videographer. His art and wildlife photography formed the core of a unique teaching program that integrated art and wilderness training by cultivating a deep appreciation of the relationship of Zen to our natural environment. He was a dharma heir of the influential Japanese Zen master Taizan Maezumi Roshi and he authored many books.
“A delightful book of beautifully reproduced pieces of art.”—Buddhadharma
“Beautifully presented art by Zen masters who take up brush and ink to share their spiritual insight and provide tools for self-exploration.”—Light of Consciousness