The Meeting of American Culture and Buddhism

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a good evening this is another i think i need that sexually can you hear me
this is another in the meeting a buddhism in american culture series and tonight we have
cause then ah shi who
spent several years here helping us with dogan translations who's done books on ha cohen
who has a very wonderful brush book out as well as are working on an introduction to zenbook with david schneider and is also spends a lot of his time doing piece work so when i
invited him for the series i had no idea which of these things he would do or talk about who or what would happen but i knew it would be interesting so
thank you cause for coming in a good way
see maybe we don't need it
keep quiet

it's always wonderful to be back here it's like really home
and now
i have a brush when i forget to say something for
don't know what to say i can go back to the grassroots
one use of the brush and the on let's see
david snyder and i have been working on a book called essential then the title is really misleading it sounds like it's essential for them and once it has nothing to do with
essential i think we're just that the book is a series of them are football essential knowledge and koran know that for somehow
we are working that is a collection of 'em
chen stories and teachings and points from
faith traditions chinese japanese and western
and then ah
he are an introduction and the nine eleven introduction they were so different go
we don't know what to do with that publisher doesn't know what to do so we may not have any introduction
maybe so we divided in up
but the when i was writing my own introduction very shocked i thought well
some then stories
i really wonderful the moral of their stories
he is so profound that we can learn a lot especially then humor
and one of the
story is i thought
often people tell me this story and
i think this is most frequently quoted than stories in recent the united states it's a story about the than laugh and t we heard of that story in professor kenneth as and last and ask him a lot of questions and and started
than master
poor kid for him and then the couple for and he kept on pouring the pit and i guess i was panicked and say it's book and then he said well are
yeah i'd stay calm like this issue in mind is full it can't learn anything and then i thought it was from for websites are interested in bonds so i went down to the library and sure enough it was number one story one more there
and that of course this story is very funny it's unreal you know who would pour qui
but it's very visual graphic and
also it showed some and wisdom about learning when way to learn something it's really true that we we have to be open minded and so this story has a i think are very good lesson that's why provides a
often quoted
but i think it has a little deeper meaning to
and in my sense the touches harder than teaching riches
being completely selfless and when we are really selfless
we can
to achieve things that's another so it's a ironic or it's paradoxical dynamics when we push for often
we get to the wall but when we are empty
when something happens and then we goes away so the i think that selflessness
i guess we are constantly learning is selflessness in this transition thing
of course in were in the european christian tradition
selflessness is from
i'm sure it's in virtue
but often when i work with my colleagues were americans very interesting are often ha
the the processes that to demonstrate that you're more experienced the are you know more and you have a bit i there and kind of constantly preventing you know oneself and say for you have to listen to me and and so forth so there's i can see the a
engraving always on variety of the most trying to demonstrate how the profile the person is and how much influence the person has to give and so in a way
some of the people and of from east asian tradition we work and then that
listen like chain a japanese tradition people are kind of working very hard
trying to be not to be impressive in are just trying to just kind of the face and let some something more natural to come and i'm not suggesting which is better which works better i think we need both i think we
we need to his self-effacing
and that self effacing are facing hillary
can that's very important i think you know we need to learn the but also we need to learn to be articulate we need to learn to push and i think that's what i see in and cross cultural ah
dynamics which is happening
and the rest when the ten is
interacting with people in the rest i think that's one of the things
another story i like to
think about i think i've been talking about this often
he's a story about through the kiyoshi and now
i guess it was here i no
how many years ago
he will stay sick
and at one of the students came up to him and and thirty or she where do we met
that was a kind of a normal question but
but there are profound question because he was not expected to live for more than a week or so so and also the student or harassed was supposed to take over his teaching for will be do we need that question is like you know
how do you understand
and next life heaven or paradise or rebirth or i know how can i tell
my fellow students about you understanding of another work
and suzuki roshi looked up him in bed
and without saying anything he drew a circle
and there recently we did a little research and and called up richard baker and said how was it and he said well actually girl she did the cashew and then did the circle and then went back to russia
in germany actually asking the public
to make a regime and said what does it mean what did it mean to you use some killer she did the circle
ha ha didn't say anything
start know
and but when i was using this as a in introduction of the book i have done this have some kind of suggestion how i would understand and my sense is that in zen tradition i think the circle com
in wholeness completeness over the experience completeness of the experience of each moment
an often in china and then monks to circle usually without rush in japan
egypt with a brush
as it as in know
circles or maybe one of the are a few singles and then prodigy
well if you have any questions or any comments please go ahead and now
and this morning i was talking to r david chadwick and welcome
then failure
it is the author of a gentle of san failure which is coming and
a could
and i was actually coming day david
that this to failure what a powerful concept
really are i felt you know
new sherry books on in a while to get washes a teachers teacher books and famous zen master and scholar was saying that
each zen master has one phrase
and that can somehow encompasses the entire teaching over the
in his or her life and dogan has like jango corn
we translate as a actualizing the essential point but pantera teaching can protrude that or another teacher says in dropping of body and mind are from finance as don't know
which is a very powerful kissing continental mind his book
so maybe this extra expressing the same experience but different words
and i feel you know what i may be wrong about committee
in fifty years people might think you then failure is new edition
well it's quite heavy to me hey i think
my sort of i have been questioning okay on the duggan's teaching is right car the way the path of spiritual pursuit
can be taken a path you know
a visual you can see that
the goal is some wales and the you go just a round and around and up and down and uruguay hard and get closer and closer to the the goal but it's still far away corrupts maybe one a very typical image over the way appeal to all with off
so suggesting that way can be circle each moment the circle is complete
practice in enlightenment moment airiness and timelessness
his experience or can be experienced its moment so it's like up maybe one moment is complete and another one moment is complete complete we can also maybe ignore or miss it made me emotional time we miss it
but we can be also aware that we can experience that wholeness of hard it's moment ah
so it looks like up have a brushwork than bus is quite organic and it has all elements in some parties
so the beard for somebody's broken a next moment it's complete about it's different shape
and even the same artist in each moment lol and is different and different artist different a person has different circle but still complete it can be complete
so that's or duggan's image of the the pass
but i was often wondering
how do we personally experienced actually
the completeness of each moment in or is it possible i mean with all our to siam and anxiety and anger and a bit thing resentment and confusion how do we experience for me
and i think it's this is a question and then i came across than failure wow

it's moment we're actually we live in failure in this continues to fit each morning and
just failure failure failure and sometimes failure fails
ah and maybe more and more we can play failure fails but to be kind of a
ah to deny the failure is very easy or to not to to ignore it or not to face it we just sort of our get away from that you know don't we don't want to think about our failure we we have some kind of a little better sell payments
other people would point out that is your image is not bad but this when we get so upset
but this up if we have become really friends with a failure and say this is our life everyone is a living the life of continuous
a continuation or failure in this is this the bright and this i mean and then we can make fun of it car
david is the all
on of ourselves and
in that way i think the failure
maybe is the only way to make our it's moment complete to be you know because this is a reality
does it make sense
what do another danger is that we can understand hiding in the can save realm of failure and with on prints intricate we need to maybe work for victory in a way i think we need to have some objective or changing situation
and then
change pay
social settings i think we are
it's important that we are
acknowledged victory we we look for victory and then we think so when things are working well when when we are changing activated situation how in our piecework or environmental work we should acknowledge that we should really
our victory however there is no full victory whatsoever by definition so i don't think it's so
come right to claim a full victory it's wrong it's kind of denial or a deception
and how do we claim victory
if that's one of my making questions i don't know but i think our intention
ah even if we're being defeated it's time when we tried try to change the
destruction of the environment or whatever
we often
almost always feel the heat
and i think in a way ah to accept the he truly is in a way away
maybe away or victory to really understand our situation accepted still working on you know when
well let me just tough to culture
yeah recently i sort of discovered something that that is i discovered the circle it's kind of embarrassing to say

and also maybe one of the things that i started using color so it keeps you might call it a then circle that tom
usually i don't call myself a sand was in whatever so it's like are just a circle
come now
color in circle how do you do a multicolor circle
by one stroke
for that sir
i was thinking about it for a long time and and one site
i found a way that was so simple and then
i was invited to go to the
parliament world's religions that happened in september and schedule and it's year anniversary over the parliament and to do some performance for i thought well it's nice to to do a circle smashed to do a multi-car sample also maybe it's
diversity of all the spiritual nearly all the spiritual traditions on earth that would get together in chicago so maybe i probably would be nice to build world's largest brush and do a circle on close to
august canvas
at this world's largest circle and on campus in condition and on this alive anyway
i designed a brass which you'll be like our rituals like oct now
shape with a little scrub skirt made of copper
and then it has felt
so-called whistle so it'll be like six feet are all together and they just four hundred handles so for artists can draw a circle together
and then there was a tank and then that tankard can hold one hundred and fifty pounds over pink
and then there was involved with sylvia was a plumbing system
then we stretched canvas or twenty four feet and then
what twenty feet because some it can't find a big such a big canvas
so we had it in three strips there was a little bit gap between so it can show the kind of unity of the spiritual tradition but also the gap we have a lot of gaps so for that was that it was a kind of chaotic gear
we did a test run in green gulch a jerk and it was a little smaller eighteen to sixteen feet by twenty feet or something
and then
somehow i did a test it was okay and we brought her
rush and and
we put the painting there you know and then somehow the valve was open so there was a the water was all of a paint was all over the counterfeiter very and paint so you notice
so yeah it was so chaotic
and there was some people who are watching with tiffany a little more people
then we have to kind of manage the crisis know it's ah
we have some class and and wanted to go and then we did the second
and then in chicago to i think there was another flood
and then there was a native american group of people
who are running and jumping and then ah
the does a very wonderful tiffany dome very elaborate or for my library and then about three hundred people were there and we did the circle
the i use a little chaotic try said the were this is the canada got our way
allow for you know disturbed
a lot of confusion that's what work on how we are
anyway so
this is what i'm trying to do and also i've made a proposal to do a circle of america thing in mexico i never saw and navy in san francisco next year for their fifties year or the signing
the united nations charter and proposing doing circle if you hate people
private streets states and canvas it may need to show you
how it might work or how much it might not work
yeah that's that's what i said in all i can
when when there was this
flood on the canvas i said they know we're kind of trying to experiment something that's never been done the brush
usually the brush there's an assumption that the brush works
but this time not

what really get them
have be can
when the god of war with a broken down
when the man
performance some people
together using a big bad
right well
when creating
how you were born war
the bedpan
you performed it in this room that's right yeah right
but before that i did it at the bay bridge books in brooklyn and this friend of mine on the actor or an actor
read the point
if we could war is happens
and then on
he had so much energy you know after
i did go rack
he scrambled red pin
and then it got do it several the audience
when one when lady
he showed me a right proof and made a current prince read them
one year later she said we'll never this shape another
you embarrassed new price
advocates for to from

when we children to pain
when crossing the east asian tradition you never have her and circle painted before you
is he
no i never can have designed on ep


does look like we're gonna have a to

thank you yeah
a good start

hello everyone will enjoy our music and dry
it depends on now i think don't know
if we will a guy and and with you
run it
i think how are you know overnight i think a night it depends on the thickness of a pen probably this to take up three days to their activities
is a dance hickman
when you use the brush
yeah and then perhaps it's encourages had on her maybe recently sent your way into present moment het well will have been recorded in a minute crime

have you ever want catch up
the and great

at an eye on we don't need to make any kind of an interpretation or anything it just circle it is

natasha maybe
i could think in this is maybe one step beyond the traditional circle which is more chrome but also maybe we could the
invite more elements in our emotional elements and know kind of problems that those social problems environmental problems are all these confirmed can be and of a pile of the each moment and my senses are
it's moment is not really complete with we're
not only
taking responsibility in taking action for the future and
of course you know each each of us has a cycle sometimes we retreat we don't do things we're not engaged in social action or something how maybe were fully household waste wrong and i'm going to a monastery or whatever maybe
that's very important to i guess and some people are doing this maybe for us when i was working in of against a nuclear arms race in
early eighties you know people into her would say well i'm sorry i can't help you ignore
i'm just doing in practice here in the following the mountain but i said in it's very important that i know you're here you are just providing us inspiration and insight here in what you are here and you say it on do anything that's very important
at sale and
also maybe as a person sometimes we need to be in retreat i think that gives us
is it to era
to have to come back to action so in a way
the circle
i don't know can
i mean maybe a different to each one with

any questions or comments or
when you say is
i'm a station on tradition
basically this a fresh tradition came from chinese calligraphy how you use a brush mean a kind of vertical way with the straight posture and relaxation that also real concentration
which can be described as maybe she she is the canada gentle force but the
relaxed but are fully focused and then it's more allowing spontaneity and
this largely in the realm of an unthinking
ah which is cultivated of course by a lot of repetition repetitious practice and so our
you have some kind of inner force there
that is transmitted to the perform so that's maybe a station and now japanese artist good study chinese ancient chinese calligraphy masterpieces and yeah and what i'm talking about is maybe one nice graphic agent
italy as a stage and tradition yeah maybe and then ah
the area where chinese calligraphy and system of writing and maybe the way of thinking how a spread they know korea or vietnam or mongolia the area here
we share a solid was the same kind of tradition which has much to do with a buddhist taoist
me away or from
understanding i guess
spirit that i actually really appreciate the circulation circumambulate because
in crash
i can be another
private this
creation of the connection
the energy
and i are you suggesting that i should go around or them
walk around
yeah that that that what happened there this lakota
people did the digital to read dull and dance and an audience just went around never made with
a recent music to and then one of them kind of told the meaning of the circle of the considerate tradition for a native american people we chose her
i think it was very inspiring you know it's circle of people he quality and and homeless and know
and then two days later was something they led the entire a big gathering in a park like three thousand people are always dalai lama day a close the parliament and then they act
true he led the big circle

he know the bigger than the brush is that the more you have to surrender the brush has more control and they have less control and in the way i think it's a good practice to surrender yourself
when i teach i often
tell people that didn't work caught
we we need to learn to use our don't think it's unconscious part of ourselves our designing mind is so small you know it's sister
let's do this in the recent think thinking but if we release that designing wine and then bring a larger part of us over vast proud of our consciousness and conscious part then every ah
a painting you make
every stroke the back is pitiful and of course people don't believe he writes
so what they'll do is ask people to just throw i've been disturbed
how to pages of newspaper and then put small pm
piece of paper by car xerox paper and then asked people to draw like this
two pages is a real
area you you have to ah his grasp and pair for sure but what is painted is so small and then wow this wonderful and then gradually people can have trust in this
process kick it's very hard to give up thinking but what i can once you see what how this is wonderful this is not something i normally do at this video for example let's see so
that's this is a
let's say this is the
this is a paper
and then we have this question is like this
and then this is can see his bid for for me to be maybe something like this something like this
quite amazing that the
once you think maybe less
you can fill in a way the brush the bigger the brushes see who we can't think so much and the reason i had the circle here is position and i don't have to
and of think from my you know depicts the position is so already decided i'll have to think
it's a kind of cheating according to the stage and profession they would think this was horrible
this you use have some kind of a machine for enlightenment if you don't think if
he responded by doing that

hey i'm first though no one can really stop thinking well i started designing so it's a kind of a degree in hum
better and always like that and artwork is like that too i think car
for example maybe if i want to stop
this her blood i could tell go and may be plotted stop it
i usually don't do it by you know

when we
surrender and often they do i let a good one
you go way beyond
and think it's a toy
and campaigns you want to help a little more thinking
sometimes maybe
circles green different than eighty nine
yeah i like to have a kind of van different names so like car
at the disarmament conference in cambridge i did a circle for peace i asked people everyone and i had some pink paint in a people to draw a circle thinking over there piecework this is the a piece of circle maybe you have problems
the congressional problem or you can go on a problem with new work why you can have some dream for the framework for everyone did in circle
and yet with the world i made i might call it circle of the way he
poker by the way and then
circle of america's next group
and circle hearing movie in a church when
so if not maybe and then maybe think of the colors and signs and maybe the artist's oeuvre wouldn't be working romeo's eight core so in a way
i grabbed said well i said to have not done i become a salesman or over
i heard here is calling
yeah who can fill her coin in the so-called belongs to everyone and i think that so one of the reasons i really like circle because you know it's it's not my invention or
a manner
but still i think it's circle can be unique and
and you can say you're at and also and i don't mind some of them
a friend will start doing federal prison and don't even know
honestly that's mine
a better again some circles that your work please when than others are soft got back on
i think that circle while i'm most pleased with the next one
how we'd better than they need in connecticut
when you're thinking about

he couldn't
or is the cover
yeah i did the circle at don't have it his throat in empire foundation in tampa bay he invited me to come over for new year eve and the new year days and then i
i thought well some people sit there and then we need healing and the we need some transformation for the new year so i thought well maybe which which should do a good
usually i don't wear gold well i'm not telling the my daughter gave it to me so doing it but the internet on were gold and stay away from goal it's kind of the image of a will
but also called has i've had a profound spiritual meaning
so i think
the community and sense of maybe transformation that kids from hey profound and powerful image and that was the first time the usual usually i try and the countless quite right that was the first time a private can raise a prank just for practice
and then we didn't ha
it is like we have golden thing
now this this van is a gold rolex and golden you know cold and and then i had to put a little glitters some kind of hidden near and you can get de sac and sushi even a even get really think that we'll go
don't think we're supposed to be a good for your body stimulates them and they do them to used to great outcome
while this was maybe you know kind of american
it shows how much am i made the americanized
typically and i think that's why that's part of the reason i really enjoyed in here because i'm a friend of my new said she takes coffee with soy sauce
a in japan and i even in the pan so it's a it's a prime when and then it'll there is there are certain things you never did an inevitable i didn't win
and i think you know
in many ways we're sort of define this thinking the old culture official all kind of definition and then
well my first two point certain style federal and calligraphy certain style and then they've been doing for hundreds of the is and in a way it's just a wonderful because
such a same thing common image and then it really
i'm very honest to you represent the profundity of president or a half shell the present how southern plan ah
how you say
no the paper or saddam
trying to be smart or you know it's amazing even at this circle it can we present and that's why it's a kind of scary when stephen said faster with you write something for me here and the speech
split it's often a of than expected to be a good calligraphy and then somehow prevented in this ambitious how i am ten
the brain so maybe a hundred years later people who say while this person that was so nervous
and so it's a very scary thing i haven't if someone nibbling doing a paper do something
right of course some of the greatest statement pieces by car queen
come and walk down that way

but ended one for its interests and of course it's you know it's beyond of i mean how would come back in webster
beyond divine

hundred feet

i think so i'm crushed paralyzed in i i did a lot of peaceful
against our nuclear arms race and then actually it started here consent or in nineteen eighty and that time when we were just so concerned about the next day you know whether we would wake up
and that was pregnant and i was kind of translating thirteenth century text and then i had no idea is this book will be published on in was really a of time so
like many people i was compelled to do with yeah
i was also thinking but they were completely separate
and then i started doing once stop painting in nineteen eighty four it's about the same time
how can you make a political statement by one stroke
no you can't do it so
then one time i i had this idea making eighty four something
maybe i should that
our creator image of the end of the world by nuclear war you know i can do
so i created them and the serial painting called down stop the andres or
and now
so i think
the the piecework
brush when i was coming together and did i started doing as i taught you are black and red and then know when the war started
i i started envisioning peace
so i used to mama like are blue and call and did some some odd performances
yeah environmental work i think of
our concern i think the
how concern
is the our person
the concern is the person
and then the person is up say it's i think or it's all we related
and now
so i have started the series called down coins
for planetary survival
and coins are usually the question the question are you all know that
given by their masters student at him
and then i thought well maybe and i'm not as the master so i'm a student so when they give it to a zen master in on a coin
i called up by don't have extreme that the kremlin to master than kitchen i that i don't i'm gonna give you a coin
would you like it couldn't fit the i okay
i'm said something they come
oh yeah
how does this miracle continue
and said
a hobby like it he said i love it
i don't know has an answer question in reading
so i created up so-called that single copy pasta pasta and then painted like an eggplant
and then doesn't look like an eggplant for a button anywhere no one can tell it's an excellent
and i have gosh river in rex sign letter in my carpet type written but bigger than son
how does this a miracle continue actually accepted and hospice now
it's my soda bar
my wish that maybe you can grow our something
hmm maybe
can live each moment
but also maybe we we work for car
keeping this miracle contain
another one was like a circle it was the first actually
multicolor circle and it says it's a song and it says down can we recycle has nature does
and of course you may kiss say yes we can buy some true
and he said
no we can't but we can supply a tough question
when we
the an automobile in only have to really think
and that way i think so kwanzaa in like are not supposed to the it was a answered by
intellectually for a yes or no or something it's the kind of a struggle every day in and then another one that's like a know chaotic
image and lemon
the top pilots mom and not so chaotic green and an with can't read and it says that can we stop rounds nonviolent
and that was the kind of responding to my question i felt good about doing kiss were trying to stop the war and being defeated
but in a way i felt it was not really enough to try to stop the war or in to stop the war because there was violence from great and we have to stop the violence there so not defend proof
was not kind of solution or by itself
i almost lost that brush
acrylic painting on it gets dry and than that said
so yeah
i'm not sure but maybe in some ways
it sounds
environmental work and
thinking and maybe come
and also i think how understanding or about
circle really kind of thing for me
a pancake or our relationship thing from
come with colleagues and working together
i feel is very important in of being having fun and enjoying it and i always say to my coins that if we don't have fun we shouldn't do environment work this competitive market
very important that but most important thing is that we run we have fun and then we work together can be an enjoyable way
i just let their environment in which destroyed
we can do something else have fun
how cause this seen this it's moment i a for ah
moment ago kids moment is that handlebar and on failure so i'm not suggesting that are in group is has no problem on in are working very well it's not proven they can always something or struggle problems
which is also kind of work from
thank you very much for reading the best thank you for a workout watching the back
good goodnight
check you can