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The Vastness of the Dewdrop

The Vastness of the Dewdrop, 2020

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Size: 8.5x9"

Media: Ink on paper

I made this painting working with Genjokoan, a seminal poem-essay by Soto Zen Buddhism lineage founder Dogen Zenji. Breathing in "the vastness of the dewdrop", breathing out "the vastness of the dewdrop" onto the ink, moving it around the paper. With each breath and with each linestroke, I opened my non-linear awareness to this koan, inviting its wisdom into me and into the painting. I spent hours lost in mazes of tiny lines, made with white pens after the fields of color had dried. 

About the title

The title "The Vastness of the Dewdrop" is a line from Genjokoan. The section reads:

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected in the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky.

May this painting be a reminder

May this painting serve as a reminder, a kind of mnemonic device, that we are all reflections of the moon, we are all fundamentally good, we are all deeply powerful to help and to heal ourselves, each other and this world. All of this even as we are aware of our smallness, our insignificance. Let us remember the vastness of the dewdrop!

 

The original painting is in a private collection. This piece is now available as a print.

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The Vastness of the Dewdrop

Size: 8.5x9"

Media: Ink on paper

I made this painting working with Genjokoan, a seminal poem-essay by Soto Zen Buddhism lineage founder Dogen Zenji. Breathing in "the vastness of the dewdrop", breathing out "the vastness of the dewdrop" onto the ink, moving it around the paper. With each breath and with each linestroke, I opened my non-linear awareness to this koan, inviting its wisdom into me and into the painting. I spent hours lost in mazes of tiny lines, made with white pens after the fields of color had dried. 

ABOUT THE TITLE

The title "The Vastness of the Dewdrop" is a line from Genjokoan. The section reads:

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected in the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky.

MAY THIS PAINTING BE A REMINDER

May this painting serve as a reminder, a kind of mnemonic device, that we are all reflections of the moon, we are all fundamentally good, we are all deeply powerful to help and to heal ourselves, each other and this world. All of this even as we are aware of our smallness, our insignificance. Let us remember the vastness of the dewdrop!

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