Thursday, April 08, 2010

Soseki's Light

Buddha of the Setting Sun (Amida)
Buddha of the Setting Sun (Amida)
Gregg Chadwick
40"x32" oil on linen 2010
Private Collection Marina del Rey

One in an ongoing series of artworks inspired by the life and poetry of
the Japanese Zen monk, poet, scholar and garden designer Muso Soseki. I am indebted to the American poet W.S. Merwin for his masterful versions from the Japanese translations and for his kind words of inspiration to me at the Hammer Museum.

Temple of Eternal Light
by Muso Soseki
(1275 - 1351)

English version by
W. S. Merwin
Original Language

Buddhist : Zen / Chan
14th Century

The mountain range
the stones in the water
all are strange and rare
The beautiful landscape
as we know
belongs to those who are like it
The upper worlds
the lower worlds
originally are one thing
There is not a bit of dust
there is only this still and full
perfect enlightenment

Portrait of Zen priest, poet and garden designer Musō Soseki


Unknown said...

Gregg - this is part of a beautiful series that you've done of walking monks. The spirit in stride, a counterpoint to zazen, journeying and aborbing some of the suffering they pass, sponging the land with their passing, leaving behind a bit more peace a bit less pain, walking unattached, desireless nomads, no end to their journey, their walking the end.

Gregg Chadwick said...


Your words are beautiful. Not just a poetic response but poetry itself.