I took the afternoon off today to come here (well, not exactly here, but in the vicinity, the museum area of my town):
There is a big Zen exhibition being held here at the moment and I did not want to rush through it, so I came on the day of the week the museum area stays open late. And I was right about this decision… this is how it looked when I came out!
Sorry, no photos were allowed of the exhibition, but it was very captivating – with the theme “From Mind to Form,” it displayed a variety of artworks that were created to embody the Zen practice, from paintings and sculptures of different sizes, calligraphies and other writings, and (for me, the main purpose for coming to this exhibition) tea sets.
Now, I will not pretend I understood – or shall I say, became enlightened on – everything there is to know about Zen in the mere half day I spent at the exhibition. But I through learning its origin, its introduction to my homeland in its original design, its modification through interpretation during its spread throughout the nation, and its incorporation into our culture and embedding into our everyday lives, I felt the Zen mind which took form in artworks had come a full circle, rooting deep down in the minds of my people.
Maybe it was not always clear which way we were going, but we believed in it beneath the moon and under the sun.
Maybe it did not come easy to us, but whether near or far, we kept thinking about it.
Maybe there were many distractions, in sound and in silence, but we maintained our concentration.
Maybe our strong yearning for it also brought torment of equal magnitude, but we embraced it all and did not give up.
It took us hundreds of years of practicing, day and night, night and day, but we were able to make it our own… now, am I only talking about the suchness of mastering the Zen mind? Maybe not – maybe I am talking about the suchness of mastering anything, including mastering being yourself.
I will not pretend I understand it yet, but I feel there is no rush. I think I will make sure to secure myself the time to spend day and night, night and day to really know my mind so I can let it take form as “me.”