Creative Enlightenment

“In spring,

the generous production of myriad things is the work of spring.

When that work is done,

fulfilling the definition of spring,

then spring gives way to summer.

The same goes for the flourishing of summer,

harvesting in autumn,

and storing in winter.

This is called the Way of Nature.”

(Takuan Soho, in a commentary on the Tao Te Ching.)

Takuan Soho

(1573 – 1645 ).

Takuan’s character and mastery of Zen impressed his fellow monks. At the unprecedented age of 36, Takuan was made abbot of the Daitokuji temple.

Takuan was able to apply Zen principals to many activities.  

He was an accomplished gardener, painter, calligrapher, tea master, poet (over 100 published poems), and author (six volumes of collected works). 

His writings to fencing master, Lord Yagyu Munenori, are commonly studied by contemporary martial artists.

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Creative Enlightenment

Ancient Words of Wisdom Zen Stories

Priceless Gem


A lord asked Takuan, a Zen teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others.

Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:

Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.
This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a priceless gem.

Takuan Soho

(1573 – 1645 ).

Takuan’s character and mastery of Zen impressed his fellow monks. At the unprecedented age of 36, Takuan was made abbot of the Daitokuji temple.

Takuan was able to apply Zen principals to many activities.  

He was an accomplished gardener, painter, calligrapher, tea master, poet (over 100 published poems), and author (six volumes of collected works). 

His writings to fencing master, Lord Yagyu Munenori, are commonly studied by contemporary martial artists.

View original post