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She sits in perfect diamond clear samadhi clearly seeing all things; Spring comes  to every land and the new moon shines brightly in the sky. Respectfully brushed by Tenryu-ji Seisetsu.


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Dimensions: 20x75

Purchase Ref #: 2348

Gallery: Seki Seisetsu

Scroll Notes: Wooden box, signed by the artist, original mounting, excellent condition.


Kannon is depicted in meditation, seated, not on a cliff or in a cave as is typical, but on what appears to be a banana leaf. There is also a snail in the corner, another unusual element. The inscription describes the universal (Kannon's solid, all-embracing vision of the cosmos) coupled with the particular (the coming of spring to all lands and the beauty of the bright moon). This is a another way of saying "emptiness is form, form is emptiness" or "Mother Nature and Buddha nature are one." Also, although Kannon is a transcendental figure she is not above sharing the stage with a lowly snail. Her samadhi functions everywhere and with everything. This is the meaning of entsu, the last two characters of the first line.

About the Artist

Seki Seisetsu was born in Hyogo Prefecture, and was adopted at birth by a Zen priest. He spent his entire life as a monk, and served as abbot of the major Zen temple Tenryu-ji in Kyoto for twenty years. Unlike most Zen masters who concentrate on calligraphy, Seisetsu loved to paint, and he brushed hundreds of paintings on all manner of themes, sometimes using light colors, which is also unusual in Zen art. Portraits of Daruma and Kannon were his signature themes. Details of Seisetsu's life and art can be found in The Art of Twentieth-Century Zen (Shambhala, 2000).

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