16 x 20 | flashe
Meet Hotei (d. 916). "He is innocence itself," says D.T. Suzuki, "a veritable image of egolessness, of freedom and of humor." He is nearly always pictured as Sengai rendered him -- carrying a huge bag of benevolence, ready to hand out his treasures though he himself is a poor & unassuming soul. Hence Hotei is considered a figure of good fortune. Here the treasure is not in his bag but in what he wants us to see.
Suzuki observes, "the moon is but one, but its reflections are seen wherever there is water." The one is in the many. The moon itself is made visible by the light it reflects. It softens the sun from a blinding brilliance to a pensive presence --offering in its shadow light an inexpressible aura of depth & mystery. In Zen, the mind is like the moon in water. Even when the waters are in motion the moon retains its serenity. So an awakened mind moves in response to the challenges of life but remains serene.