When a Zen master puts brush to paper, the resulting image is an expression of the quality of his or her mind. It is thus a teaching, intended to compassionately stop us in our tracks and to compel us to consider ultimate truth. Here, forty masterpieces of painting and calligraphy by renowned masters such as Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768) and Gibon Sengai (1750–1837) are reproduced along with commentary that illuminates both the art and its teaching. The authors’ essays provide an excellent introduction to both the aesthetic and didactic aspects of this art that can be profound, perplexing, serious, humorous, and breathtakingly beautiful—often all within the same simple piece.
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