Listen with Our Listening – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen A pernicious and invisible delusion for practitioners is that there is an inside and an outside to experience: We should cleanse inner experience by eradicating thoughts and noise, and our experience of the world will be transformed. But of course, there isn’t an inner and an outer, there’s just this experience, within which …

Full Dynamic – Kusen collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen 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 …

Ardfern Zen Retreat – a few recipes from the Tenzo…

Here are a few recipes and images (many thanks to Ylva Champion for her photos) from the kitchen during the retreat. Huge thanks to all that helped with the food prep. TOFU TERIYAKI (bit tricky as delicate, side for 4) 1 pack of tofu – carefully removed from packaging using scissors and wrap up with …

Dogen’s Waka: 2 Poems, 2 Commentaries

First poem and commentary by John Fraser: My free translation of Master Dogen’s poem Shobogenzo: 波も引き風もつながぬ捨小舟 月こそ夜半のさかひ成けり In the heart of the dark The moonlight holding A small boat drifting Unmoved by the wind Unthrown by the waves Dogen’s poetry – because it is imagistic – makes it easier to express apparent paradox than prose. We …

Working on new city themed artist’s film

In the last couple of weeks, or certainly since the last heavier snows, I’ve been putting together a strange new film piece taking in lots of city and infrastructure footage, mostly gathered in and around Tokyo, but also some from the UK. The previous artist film works I showed at the Omotesando exhibition last year …

Depth of Reflection – notes on David Lynch and Dogen

I made this small visual note after running along the Firth and Forth Canal, the reflections can be so deep, somehow reality is deepened. The space is literally deeper, becoming set further away, almost elusively in another time… …colour and shape so dense, tinged with toned down silvers, greens – the poignant reality untouchable yet …

A thought on Zazen and painting

Zazen Silent movement Passing through the stillness And empty form. This wee haiku is a thought on zazen and experience. After my recent studio shift, zazen and considering the looser paintings I’ve been doing, I think it’s good not to bring too much, or any at all although this can be impossible, of the bias, …