Sengai Gibon (仙厓 義梵, 1750 - 1837) was a Japanese monk of the Rinzai (臨在宗) school (one of three main schools of Zen Buddhism in Japan, the others being the Soto school and the much smaller Obaku school.). He was known for his controversial teachings and writings, as well as for his lighthearted sumi-e paintings. After spending half of his life in Nagata near Yokohama, he secluded himself in Shōfukuji (located in Fukuoka), the first Zen Temple in Japan, where he spent the rest of his life.
Though the Rinzai sect is particularly known for its hard-to-understand teachings, Sengai tried to make them accessible to the public.
One of his famous paintings shows a circle, a square and a triangle. Sengai left the painting without a title or inscription (save for his signature), however the painting is often called "The Universe" when referred to in English.
Japanese Calligrapher Sengai made the mystery of the Circle/Square/Triangle known to the world throughout history. They represent the grounding of consciousness in the human body and are the spiritual dimensions of embodied consciousness in the martial art of Aikido. The mysticism of these cornerstones of sacred geometry also associates the shapes with the energies of fire/water/spirit, written about as The Three Mothers, the energies that bring forth creation. These notions are expanded in Kabbalah of the Mother Letters, in Tiferet: Journal of Spiritual Literature (#11, 2009.)
THREE DIMENSIONS OF SOMATIC ATTUNEMENT The martial art Aikido teaches that it is with the breath that we align ourselves with Ki, which creates all things. Kabbalah and Aikido both associate spiritual energy with the three basic shapes, the triangle with the head, the square with the belly (pelvis) and the circle with the breath (chest.) Read more and download the article at: http://www.greenermediations.net/contact
"My play with brush and ink is not calligraphy nor painting; yet unknowing people mistakenly think: this is calligraphy, this is painting." Sengai Gibon (1750–1837)
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