Hakuin Ekaku
Friday, January 7, 2011 at 10:28AM
[chuck] in Art, Dharma, Hakuin, Japan Society

Spent yesterday afternoon at the exhibit of Hakuin paintings and calligraphy at the Japan Society on E. 47th Street. Widely acknowledged as the leading Zen master of the last five centuries, Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1768) was also the most significant Zen artist of his time. This is the first comprehensive collection of Hakuin's work (78 scrolls) ever exhibited in the West, and the sound of one hand was subtly, yet forcefully, present throughout the entire gallery. Very powerful show.

Photography was not permitted inside, but images of several of my favorite pieces in the show are available online (thx, Jeff).  

Two Blind Men on a Bridge, Ink on Paper, Manyo-an Collection. I have always loved this painting. We are all pretty much blindly feeling our way through life - and our practice, whatever it may be.

Stability, Ink on Paper, 41.9 x 62.3 cm, Manyo-an Collection. The inscription reads:

The ability to stop is the ultimate virtue.
Knowing how to stop results in stability

[NOTE: This wonderful show closes on Sunday, January 9. More information here. As Master Hakuin puts it: "If you are searching for freedom from this suffering, you must hear the sound of one hand"]. 

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