Monday, December 9, 2013

Ichizoku Sankan wo Yaburu

This scroll was made for a suiseki artist's display. I hope to have a picture of it paired with the suiseki at some point in the future. The suiseki is a horse, and the year of the horse is to be a strong spirit and full of life. So I was searching for phrases in the Zen book that exemplified those principles. This is what came up.

It is written by Yoshimi Yamada Maples in Gyousou (mix full and semi-cursive) style. The scroll is made in a Nidan Hyougu styling. The top dark green cloth is a Shike, the Chuumawashi is a yellow and green with a wave pattern in it. Both are benberugu cloths. The jikusaki is the First Order Gold Ring (non-lacquer) wood, and the kakehimo is the Kodai San Iro. It think it turned out simple, yet elegant, which will melt into the background of the stone.

Dimensions as follows along with an expanded translation of the meaning of the phrase.

Name in Kanji Name in English Size in Bun Size in Inches
Ten 102 12.17
上中廻し Ue Chuumawashi 34 4.06
紙本の幅さ Artwork Width 109 13.00
紙本の長さ Artwork Length 295 35.19
Pillars 20 2.39
下中廻し Shita Chuumawashi 20 2.39
Chi 65 7.75
掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 149 17.77
掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 516 61.55

Within One’s Own Heart:
Is it possible to shoot an entire herd of deer with one arrow? Of course that idea is unfathomable, to reasonable person. However, in Zen, this type of feat is said to be possible. The key is to understand how it could be done.
The answer to that thought is this phrase “Ichizoku Sankan wo Yaburu「一鏃破三関」Like the characters imply the meaning is with a single arrow onoe can shoot through three barriers. Well now one asks, but what does this really mean?
People seek out the true way something should be done, and no matter how one suffers like a hungry ghost, this is the Sankan or three barriers. In other words, the many heavy worldly desires that we take upon and surround ourselves with do not help us go to our true thoughts. In order to break these three barriers, just look to let the arrow fly will not hit any target. What if we make the target face our own heart. Those hungry souls lost in their own desires have been able to remove these worldly burdens by aiming at their own soul.
As people, we think that our own problems are the things that surround us, but in reality it is the many things our heart tells us that decide what are problems really are. This phrase teaches us that if we look upon our own heart, we will be able to completely overcome the obstacles that confront us.

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