Ikkyu's Well (MK22)

KOAN:

In a well that was never dug
water ripples from a spring that doesn’t flow.
Someone with no shadow or form
is drawing the water.

– PZI Miscellanous Koans, Case 22 (from a poem by Ikkyu)

Text November 13, 2019

The Story of the Well Painting

Allison Atwill

I want to describe the process that I went through, over the last year of making the painting, and I want to do that in the spirit of “when something arises, don’t believe it, and shine your light on it.” So in a year a lot of things can arise not to believe, and they did. But even if you’re in the meditation hall, five minutes is probably long enough for plenty to arrive not to believe in.

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