I am not sure when I received my copy but I know it was before Loori’s death in 2009. This book has been my guide and touch stone since I turned the first page. Loori, speaks to a world in which I am alive within. His words, techniques, philosophy and practices match my own. I am less alone on these pages. I become more visible to the essence of what I call myself.
Sometimes I read whole chapters over again, unhurried and with thoughtful purpose - like “Dancing Brush” that starts on page 169 .
Other times, I read just the quotes - such as the Japanese Proverb “… Even monkeys fall out of trees.”
Often though, I find a passage I have underlined such as “From the Buddhist perspective, the self is an idea. It doesn’t exist, except in our mental constructs…. then what is the self that is expressed in self-expression? Zen’s Answer would be that when the self disappears, the brush paints by itself, the dance dances itself, the poem writes itself. There is no longer a gap between artist, subject, audience and life. This is no accident or a chance occurrence. It is rather the result of personal training, spiritual development, and insight, which then manifests itself through artistic expression”
So this is why, sometimes, I must sit and wait - zazen… just sitting with correct bodily posture, while emphasizing the quality of being whole and one in time and space. Other times, I walk and wait, noticing, observing, without expectation.