Stream Enterers

“Stream-Enterer” is a term for the initial stage in following the Buddhist path. These paintings attempt to depict my experiences of beginning to open my rigid self to the flow of what-is. For a while, I made a practice of sitting quietly by flowing streams and rivers near trails in the Monongahela National Forest, trying to give myself to the flowing water, receive whatever I saw, heard, thought, or sensed, and to let it flow through. Master Dogen formulated four styes in the practice of the zen way:

To study the way is to study the self
To study the self is to forget the self
To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things
To be enlightened by all things is to remove the barrier between self and others
And go on in traceless enlightenment forever

Acrylic on paper and canvas