Monday, December 26, 2005

Show and tell






Here are photos of some wall hangings in my apartment.
The first two are Tibetan thangkas that I think look pretty neat. From a practice standpoint, I'm not really "into" Tibetan Buddhism, but I love the iconography.
At bottom is a Japanese wall scroll depicting Kanzan and Jittoku (Han-shan and Shih-te), two enlightened Zen vagabonds who lived in T'ang Dynasty China. These two wild characters are a favorite subject in Chinese and Japanese art.
They're also two of my favorites. There's a famous painting of these blissfully grinning "Zen lunatics" ripping pages out of sutra books and casting them to the wind.
The implicit message is that all the books in the world -- and all the opinions in the world and all the blog entries in the world -- can never get to the heart of Buddhism. In short, words are just words.
It's direct experience that cuts through all the crap.

5 comments:

anu said...

So beautiful the wall hangings are Michael.

Especially the second one. I cant take my eyes off it.

:) Thank you for posting the pics.

Michael said...

My pleasure, Anu. Enjoy!

Beth said...

i LOVE love love the zen lunatics.

Nacho said...

Michael, so good to finally come to your blog. Thank you, it is a wonderful place. I love Han-shan and Shih-te, they are somewhat equivalent to the "trickster" character in some other cultures (although not completely, they do have similar characteristics). I agree wholeheartedly, direct experience is so eye opening. I have had both the fortune and ill-fortune (both at the same time!) of experiencing what Pema Chodron calls the humbling of suffering. It is completely different than intellectualizing or reading about it! : ) But therein lies enlightenment. : ) Thanks again. I caught up with you through Kim's wonderful blog.

Oh, and I am also into end of year cleaning! I always tell my wife, "it's time to clear the decks!" It makes me feel good to start the year by letting go of deadwood, by starting simply and lean.

All the best to you,

Nacho

Michael said...

Hello Nacho,

Many thanks for your visit and for your kind words! May we both have success with our end-of-year cleaning.