Thursday, July 09, 2015
"Americans of many backgrounds, who not many decades ago admired and cultivated a lean, resolute character, were hungry for access to these traditions—the bitter tea of Ch’an Buddhism, a poetry with the taste of gnarled wood. After all, how many among us first learned poetry skills by rewriting some old Chinese poem? How many among us got our first taste of Zen by copying a detail out of the life of some Chinese hermit met in a book? Or saw an ink-brush scroll in which a thin stream drops from cloud-piercing pinnacles—then noticed a tiny pavilion, one quiet scholar gazing into the void—all done in a few confident strokes?..."