Thursday, December 17, 2009

All Things are under the Law of Change

"All Things are under the Law of Change", number 168 of 188 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Yes indeed 'all things are under the law of change'. Even this blog. Things have gone quiet here as other projects grew.  All things are under the law of change.

In this miniature, Robert Aitken paints an intimate portrait of living with his grandparents at the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton. This was back in 1928 and all things are under the law of change. Yet, how often do we forget this or wish it was some other way?

Old photographs show us change. They show us that "nothing survives after all - nothing at all."

My intent is to add more woodworking content to this space. This space is called wooden Zen, till now more Zen then wood but that is about to change. There I go reaffirming 'all things are under the law of change'.

Here is a photo of a work under progress.

Here is a photo of the same piece completed and hanging in the Wawawai Canyon Winery gallery.

Steelhead Run
Will Simpson

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.


  1. Wow, Will. That's really beautiful. I can see a viewer's impulse to reach out and feel the contours for him/herself. Very cool. Best wishes for a productive and joyful 2010.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Justin. I continue to look for ways to integrate my Zen practice and my woodworking.

    Carving places me in a 'flow' state and when it works, the result is pleasing. When my practice wanders, no 'flow' and all I produce is firewood for the shop stove.

    In this past year I think I came closer then ever. Stay tuned, I have evil plans for marrying Zen and woodworking in 2010.