At this very moment, all things are a dream, are within a dream, and expound a dream.
As we study things, roots and stalks, branches and leaves, flowers and fruits, lights and colors
—all are a great dream.
Never mistake them for a dreamy state of mind.
—Dogen, S, "Muchu Setsumu"
e n s o, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 58" x 58"
Right now our own bodies are embodying a round moon shape. . .
If you would seek the embodying body,
you must trace the shape of the round moon. . .
The roundness is the embodying body.
A round coin, a round rice cake
must be studied in this suchness.
—Dogen, S, "Bussho"
Simultaneity, 2005, acrylic on paper, 22.5" x 30"
The power of the modular grid is that it is at once a deductive (centripetal) and an all-over (centrifugal) system. As such, it eliminates any notion of a formal unity: this unity is given at the beginning, thus there is no struggle to achieve it; it is not a reward.
—Yve-Alain Bois, Ad Reinhardt, MOMA, NY, Rizzoli, New York 1991
"DreamMaking" uses the power of the modular grid to express the natural completion of the root foci of nonduality and duality in Dōgen Zen's realizational/dynamic of nondual existence-time: "What" (enlightenment unfolding) is This" (delusion enfolding) that comes "Thus" (emptiness). The modular grid is engaged as a 'steelyard' of Thusness to weigh the body-mind activity of dependent origination: "What" active expression of inexpressible embodying and "This" expressive activity of the perceptual (conative)/preceptual (cognitive) embodying body—colors, lines, soft and hard neighboring boundaries, verticals, horizontals, and planes—for expressible equilibrium without start or finish: the symbolized is the symbol.
Hee-Jin Kim writes about emptiness and the steelyard in Dōgen Zen as follows:
Emptiness radically rejects the substantiality of any beings—persons and things alike. Emptiness may appear static, abstract or one-dimensional. Yet in reality it is not neutral, vacuous or value free. Emptiness is dynamic, concrete, and preeminently present in relation to weighing dependent origination/worldly truth.
In olden days, people used a steelyard, or a portable unequal-arm balance, to measure the weight of an object.
The shorter arm has a hook or pan for holding the object to be weighed and the longer one has a scale and mov-
able counterpoint for obtaining the weight of the object. The steelyard is suspended at the point where these two
portions, or arms, of the beam meet. . . . In a broader context, then, the beam with unequal arms, the object to be weighed, the counterpoise moving along the scale, the person who weighs, the force of gravity operative in the physics of the steelyard, and the rest—all work directly in concert with one another, in accordance with dependent origination to attain equilibrium, fairness, and reasonableness in commercial transactions.
Dōgen's expression ku ni kakareri means at once "hanging in empty space" and "hanging in emptiness."
"Hanging" in the present case draws on the fact that the steelyard, when in use, is suspended from the
hand of the one who weighs. By extension, the object to be weighed, the person who weighs, the steelyard,
and its functioning are all suspended in the air, in emptiness.
Imagine a person who is being suspended in a vast expanse of empty space that holds nothing whatsoever in any direction. However far one may look, there is nothing to secure a foothold or handhold on, just empty space itself. Empty space has no foundation, no substratum, and no boundary; it is absolutely void and boundlessly open. Empty space is not a source or origin to which the ten thousand things return, according to Lao-tzu’s familiar image. Knowing that things, ideas and values have no self-nature and that there is nothing whatever to cling to, is an unbearable threat to our whole way of life.
—Hee-Jin Kim, Meditation and Thinking
T h e S t e e l y a r d, 2007, acrylic on paper, 22.5" x 30"
The Intimacy of Picture/Reality
Paintings by Richard Stodart
Words by Hee-Jin Kim
7" x 10," 84 pages
Publisher: Fourth Lloyd Productions 2013
22 color plates
A quest with cast off/totally exerted delusion and enlightenment as orientational and cotemporal foci of dream, in and through the wisdom of emptiness (qua right-thinking/nonthinking), free of mystical coincidence or a substantive order beyond them.
"The relationship between delusion and enlightenment is such that one is not the simple negation nor absence of the other; nor does one precede the other. In this respect they are "foci" rather than "antitheses" or "polarities" within the structures and dynamics of realization (genjo). "Permeable" rather than incommensurable," their boundaries, though provisional, are never erased. Delusion is constantly illumined and clarified by enlightenment in the salvific process. Enlightenment is never free of values and meanings, frustrations and disappointments any more than delusion is. The human condition is such that even if we overcome delusion, we cannot eradicate it.
Accordingly, the differences between delusion and enlightenment are never erased in their intimacy. As such, no hiatus exists between them,"
—Hee-Jin Kim, On Meditation and Thinking
Copyright © 2022 Richard Stodart - All Rights Reserved.