|Nakahara Nantenbo, 1923
Mokurai asked, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Nantenbo replied, "Now, listen!"
|Kogan Gengei, 1747-1821
"One voice, two voicesthen like a clatter of shivering geese!"
This painting, which depicts a procession of monks making their traditional rounds, makes reference to the famous koan, "Does a dog have Buddha nature?"
|Hakuin Ekaku , 1685-1769
"Yoshida is no better than a fly's head!"
The moon is often a symbol of enlightenment, but the monkey is foolishly reaching for the reflection of the moon on water. This image is a favorite of Hakuin who uses it with different comments. In this version, the artist pokes fun at a dilettante who studiesrather than practicesZen. In another use of the same image, Hakuin points out that the monkey will never succeed in grasping the moon no matter how hard he tries, but that he would understand instantly if he would only let go of the branch!