about the paintings

Quest As Realization

“DreamMaking” explores the structure and dynamics of realization (genjo) in Dogen’s Zen.  In this interdependent and open context, delusion (thinking, differentiation, earth, darkness) and enlightenment (not-thinking, equality, sky, light) conjoin as nonsubstantial orientational and perpectival foci of existence-time without independent self-nature.  

Through the use of the grid's means-in-end centripetal and centrifugal dynamic structure, the co-existent foci of delusion and enlightenment are examined and affirmed as time-bound and time-free in the temporal dynamics of realization here and now.  In this deconstructing (expounding a dream) and reconstructing (making a dream) process, the following substantive assumptions of enlightenment are penetrated:   

  •  enlightenment is the simple negation or absence of delusion;
  • enlightenment is timeless and prior to delusion, and consents to identify with delusion as its own radiance in causal, teleological, or metaphysical terms — in essence, enlightenment descends to, incarnates atemporally as, and is valueless and immune to, delusion;
  • enlightenment is the pre-mediated infinite field of pure timeless perception in which cognition arises and over which cognition lays limiting ideas.  In this regard, the liberating function in thinking is not acknowledged and enlightenment is trans-rational and ever-without discrimination;
  • enlightenment and delusion are metaphysical opposites in eternal struggle and collapse in a metaphysical coincidence of opposites:
  • enlightenment and delusion are polar principles that posit a preordained universal order or harmony between them. 

In essence, light does not remove darkness or erase the permeable boundary between them.  And yet, no hiatus exists between them: the symbol is the symbolized.  

Radiant light unfolds, shares in, and penetrates the depths and dimensions of delusion, illumining the emotional, existential and moral anguishes, doubts and ambiguities of the human condition. Light perpetually illumines [not eradicates] darkness’s abysmal depths in the open-ended process of dialogue and intimacy between light and darkness. 

See fascile, S, "Muchu Setsumu" (1242), below.

Entwined Vines,  2007, acrylic on canvas, 58" x 58"

Entwined Vines, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 58" x 58"

making a dream within a dream


The dharma wheel has been set to turn,
through the active power of buddhas going beyond buddhas.
The great merit needs no reward,
and becomes the guidepost for all ages.
Within a dream this is the dream you express.

Because awakening is within awakening,
the dream is expressed within a dream.
The place where the dream is expressed within a dream
is the land and the assembly of buddha ancestors.
Here, awakening throughout awakening
expresses the dream within the dream.

When you encounter such speech and expressions,
it is buddha turning the dharma wheel that encompasses
the ten directions, the eight facets of a clear crystal,
and the great oceans. This is the dream expressed
within a dream, prior to all dreams.

Every crystal-clear manifestation of the entire world is a dream;
this dream is none other than all things that are absolutely lucid.

One's doubt of this itself is a dream; life's confusion is a dream as well.
At this very moment, all things are a dream, are within a dream,
and expound [make] a dream. As we study things, roots and stalks,
branches and leaves, flowers and fruits, lights and colors, we see that
all are a great dream. Never mistake this for a dreamy state of mind.

Those who shun study of the Buddha-way while encountering
the expounding of a dream within a dream, absurdly think that
people miscontsrue the things of dreams as real and thus pile up      
delusion on top of delusion.  This is not true. Even though it is said,
"One is further deluded amid delusion," you should correctly
construe it as saying,"One is further deluded beyond delusion."
In such understanding lies the path of progress in realization. 

To express the dream within dream is the ancient buddhas;
it is to ride in this treasure boat and directly arrive in the practice place.
Directly arriving in the practice place is riding in this treasure boat.

You should know that since entire being is present in all situations,
the guiding way of all buddhas is boundlessly transforming.
Do not search for the limits of dharma in the past or future,
since all things emerge and arrive right here.
One plants twining vines and gets entangled in twining vines.
This is the characteristic of unsurpassable enlightenment.

Just as expression is limitless, sentient beings are limitless and unsurpassable.
Just as cages and snares are limitless, emancipation from them is limitless.
Who could doubt that a dream is enlightenment, since enlightenment is beyond doubt?
Who could recognize this dream, since it is not related to recognition?
As unsurpassable enlightenment is unsurpassable enlightenment,
so the dream is called a dream."

Eihei Dogen 

—S, "Muchu Setsumu" (1242)


Dogen (1200-1252) (below)

by Richard Stodart 

2014, acrylic on paper, 

18 1/4" x 29 1/4"

about the book

In DreamMaking, human fallibility (amiddelusion/dream) and human perfectability (beyond delusion/dream) entwine as foci of the process of calibration and the state of equilibrium. From this nondual perspective, one lives amid/beyond dream by expounding/making a dream within a dream, in and through the reconstructive and dynamic function of emptiness, without blurring the differences between duality and nonduality.  With words by Hee-Jin Kim from "Meditation And Thinking" and paintings by Richard Stodart.

Fourth Lloyd Productions, 2013
84 pages, paper ISBN: 978-0-9889391-1-0
10" x 7," 22 color plates $39.95