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Two Zen Masters Come from Japan for Zenmi – A Taste of Zen Exhibit

The Morikami’s staff curated the exhibition Zenmi –A Taste of Zen: Paintings, Calligraphy and Ceramics from the Collection of Riva Lee Asbell, which opens October 18th.  Curator of Collections, Veljko Dujin, collector Riva Asbell and I began to plan and research educational programs to accompany the exhibit one year ago. We will welcome two Zen masters to Morikami who have agreed to come from Japan.  Shōdō Harada Rōshi is a highly-respected Zen teacher and well-known calligrapher. He will travel from Sogen-ji Zen Monastery in Okayama, Japan where he is the abbot. Ms. Asbell has included one of Harada Rōshi’s scrolls in the exhibition. The scroll reads Sōgen no Ittekisui (One Drop of Sōgenji’s Water). The same kanji represents the name of Harada Rōshi monastery and the scroll’s Sōgen.  Water, drop by drop, gathered together makes a large river; one drop has many possibilities, and each of us can make a difference, too.

Shōdō Harada’s Sōgen no Ittekisui

Harada Rōshi frequently travels abroad and often guides meditation sessions at the One Drop Monastery in the state of Washington. His teachings have begun to spread throughout the United States.  Harada Rōshi will hold two calligraphy demonstration programs Tuesday, October 25 in Morikami’s Seishin-an tea house.  Seishin-an offers an intimate setting for these demonstrations, so seating is limited.  This demonstration will be the first of its kind by a Zen master in South Florida.  

On Friday, November 18th, Morikami will welcome Professor Jeff Shore.   Professor Shore teaches at Hanazono University in Kyoto, Japan. He has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism for almost 40 years.  His master since 1982, Fukushima Keidō, passed away on March 1 while Professor Shore was teaching in Europe.  The Zenmi catalog is dedicated to Fukushima Keidō, and you will find his calligraphy in the exhibition. I particularly like one piece that reads Hōgejyaku (Throw it away). The word Hōgejyakuteaches me, if one throws everything away, one will find his or her own ground.  Don’t so many of us want many things, already have so much, and still fail to see what really matters?

Professor Shore conducts Zen retreats throughout Europe.  He recently came back to Japan from a month of teaching there.  Professor Shore will likely lead his discussion “Living Zen” zazen-style in our theater: seated, rather than standing, on the stage.

We recommend interested individuals register and purchase tickets for these events as early as possible, as spaces are limited.  Personally, I am excited to see the calligraphy demonstration and to hear more about Zen. I also look forward to viewing the Zenmiexhibition as well as each Zen master’s unique brush strokes, and to learn their understanding of these words.

Reiko Nishioka

Director of Education

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