I am privileged to be working with my friend John Fraser on this project since December 2013. John’s Kusen is part of his zen practice and teaching at Glasgow Zen Group, and I have been helping collate these. They are often poetic, sometimes discuss Dogen Zenji or ideas of emptiness or particular koan stories, and help zazen practioners to engage with experience, and describes the vigorous and ever changing nature of life. In 2012 I had asked John to write a response to some artwork for the ‘Traces of Time’ show, and he kindly continued this process of artistic collaboration by asking for some drawings responding to his Kusen.
Here is an example of the project:
When we do zazen, we may imagine that we are sitting quietly. But our weight is dropping down into the earth. We are pushing the earth with all our strength. And the earth is pushing back. We can feel this push up our spine, up through the top of our head. There is the appearance of stillness because there is balance; if there were not, we would fall down, into the earth, or fall up, into the sky. Ourselves, the earth and all things are just facets of full dynamic functioning.
More zen articles at Kusen & Notes from John