Daitoku-ji priest Tachibana Sogi / Ryoan – 橘宗義 (了庵) (1941~) – By Nature, Having Nothing – Honrai Muichimotsu – 本来無一物

Tachibana-san was born in Kyoto and graduated from Hanazono university. After studies there, he attended Heirin-ji. Completion of that training led him to be ordained as what we would call in the west a “deacon” at Daitoku-ji. He was then promoted to deputy head of Daitoku-ji, and after that a director. His most recent position of esteem is the post of the chief priest of Tokuzen-ji. In this position, his study and experience have lent great deference to his skills as a shodō artist of the highest order. Honrai muichimotsu” is attributed to Rokuso Eno. Another translation is “Originally, there is not one thing”. A student of zen must always remember that this doesn’t only apply to physical objects. Originally, there was no mind, no desire, no sin etc. To return one’s mind to “mu” 無 (nothingness) is to release one’s self from the trappings of the natural world. 
The artisan, hand-made washi paper Tachibana-san used to brush this phrase on is a beautiful, elegant, small floating-fiber texture of the highest quality. This is a smaller size scroll, making it easier to manage with limited wall space. *Please click the arrow at the top left of the pictures to enlarge them.


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