Have a super duper 2017 and all the very best wishes for a peaceful holiday.
Creatively 2016 has been really varied, and has seen work on various visual projects, particularly photography and drawings, both getting more abstract and playful.
Recently I have been running free community art classes in Ruchill and Maryhill in Glasgow for young people and adults. I’ll be growing these into the North West and East of the city in 2017.
- 28 June 2016
Working with nature, plus my own ‘sculptural’ props and my trusty old nikon dslr, and recent smaller digital camera, I’ve been going on to develop various series of photographs and c-prints. The two images I’ve selected here are from work on the Scottish Hebrides. These series have gradually become more abstracted and playful with colour and atmosphere, and are influencing new drawing and painting experiments in terms of colour blocks and composition.
Book Of Serenity, Case 36: Master Ma Is Unwell
The Case: Master Ma was unwell. The monastery superintendent asked, “Master, how is your venerable state these days?”
The Great Teacher said, “Sun face buddha, Moon face buddha”
Commentary: “unwell” is a euphemism. Master Ma (Baso) was mortally ill, and died the following day.
Sun Face Buddha was said to have a lifespan of 1800 years. Moon Face Buddha lived only one day and one night. Baso is talking about two aspects of experience, once our egoic self concern has dropped away.
The Universe can only express itself through each thing. If there were no things, there would be no light.
Sometimes, we are very aware that we are expressing something universal through this fragile, transient body. The Moon illuminates itself, and everything it casts its light on becomes part of it.
Other times, we forget this body, and are simply part of this illuminated world.
The light can only shine through each thing, and each thing will break
The light will not break
More zen articles at Kusen & Notes from John
within the thin covering snow
Three Thousand Worlds
again inside this world
fragile snow falls
vision of decay in mind, the wind permeates the body
at the month’s end moonless –
a one thousand year old cedar
is hugged by the storm
Contained – Spaciousness
Tranquil – Distorted
Phenomenon – Concept
of cerulean blue –
ice holes, pulsating –
falling apart rapidly
arctic skuas, guillemots and black backs,
probing – swaying –
with low and high motion
retrieving coordinates –
glas mheall liath, coir a’ghiubhsachain
skaill, point of hellia
splitting through eastern sutherland
hovering above caithness,
plunging into clear green depths shining,
from waters to coconut fragrance melting yellows,
beyond into wide moors – back then to orcadia