an amazing robe sewn by a very simple man

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  • Taigu
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
    • Aug 2008
    • 2710

    an amazing robe sewn by a very simple man


    This is Edouard, Zen teacher, wearing a twenty five stripes Okesa.

    Edouard, that we used to call Doudou some thirty years ago, is an old student of Deshimaru and a very simple man, a kind of Ryokan in his own way, humble, direct, man of so many so called menial jobs, with a mind like a child, wild and open, as you will see on this funzoe, a ceremonial robe, he has sewn. When I met him in 1985, he was cooking for retreats, sitting in the dojo of Paris, vcleaning here, helping there, and enjoying frisbee. He received Dharma transmission in the same blood line as Jundo and I from Kosen, one of the Dharma heirs of Niwa. He is now getting old (aren"t we all? I shall be 50 in a few months time) and has a small sangha in the South of France where people practice a very uncomplicated Zen. If you click on the link below, you will see the most amazing ceremonial kesa entirely hand sewn and as you will notice, the patterns of mountains and clouds are just like kid's drawings. I could not believe it when I first saw it. Joko, my French student, pointed it to me recently and I wanted to share this visual treasure with you.

    I shall be away and not available for dokusan or anything next week as I go visiting my in laws and spend some quality time with my family in Japan.

    take care and remember that I will be back on the 5th of January.

    gassho to all

    Last edited by Taigu; 12-27-2013, 07:09 PM.
  • Jinyo
    • Jan 2012
    • 1957

    Thank you Taigu - a most beautiful kesa.

    You will be 50 years young soon. We have just celebrated my husbands 70th with family/grandchildren - a good time to think on the value of each moment because the past two decades since 50 have flown by.

    Dogen really understood a thing or two about time

    Have a restful, happy time with your family.




    • MyoHo
      • Feb 2013
      • 632

      Thank you Taigu for sharing this. Amazing work. I think I see mountains and mountain conditions depicted in it. Every frame another day but also a season maybe. The amount of work and the patience is just stunning. He seems to have prepared each panel first, every single one an amazing piece of art in itself and then put the kesa together. Like you said, they look like those children drawings we often think so little about until we try to paint or draw in that same open, creative and uninhibited way as kids do. Thank you Taigu for pointing it out.

      I will take some paint and some paper today to see what comes out of it if I try to draw like a child, using the imagination. Draw what we are actually seeing or what comes to us in the imagination instead of the classic, poor attempt to depict what something is called or what something should look like. An interesting experiment. Draw with a an open mind and with the open hand of thought. Maybe we could all try it together? And maybe post a picture of the results here, just for fun and as a salute to what Edouard and Taigu are teaching us here?




      • Taigu
        Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
        • Aug 2008
        • 2710

        Hi Willow, you are for sure just a baby of 70. Growing into birth. Nice feeling.
        As far as Dogen is concerned, I don't understand his teachings at all. It is true that the point is not about understanding., anyway.
        have a restful time too with your young family.

        Enkyo, thank you for seing these simple drawings for what they are, flowers in the sky, blossoms of awakening.
        Being creative and drawing is a great way forward. As the good old Daido Loori used to point at.
        your rakusu is on the way. A matter of days, I think.


        Last edited by Taigu; 12-27-2013, 09:55 AM.


        • Myosha
          • Mar 2013
          • 2974

          Thank you.

          "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"


          • Myozan Kodo
            Friend of Treeleaf
            • May 2010
            • 1901

            Hi Taigu,
            This is amazing. Thank you. I must try and make it to his Zendo in the south when I am visiting Isabelle's family next time. I hope you enjoy your time off.


            • Taikyo
              Friend of Treeleaf
              • Nov 2012
              • 363

              A beautiful and wonderous thing is the play of the simple and the simple at play. Thank you Taigu, have a great break and see you soon.



              • Mp

                This is beautiful Taigu, thank you! Wow ... almost 50 years young, just the beginning. =) Have a wonderful time with your family and in-laws and see you when you are back. =)



                • Joyo

                  Thank you for sharing, Taigu, it is beautiful.

                  Have a wonderful time with your family.



                  • TimF
                    • Dec 2013
                    • 174

                    Beautiful! Reminds me a bit of the drawings that my daughter makes. Thank you for showing this and have a safe and peaceful trip.

                    "The moment has priority". ~ Bon Haeng


                    • KellyRok
                      • Jul 2008
                      • 1374

                      It is amazing, I could get lost in the stitches. Wishing you safe and happy travels, Taigu and we shall see you when you return.



                      • Anshu
                        • Aug 2013
                        • 57

                        Merci Taigu pour le partage de ce très beau kesa, ainsi que pour la découverte d' Édouard.
                        Le secret consiste donc seulement à dire "OUI" et à se jeter dans le vide. Dès lors, il n'y a plus de problème. Il s'agit d'être soi-même dans l'instant présent, toujours soi-même, sans s'accrocher à son vieux moi.
                        Shunryu Suzuki Roshi


                        • Neika
                          • Dec 2008
                          • 229

                          Thank you Taigu. Beautiful.
                          Neika / Ian Adams

                          寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
                          火 Ka - Fire

                          Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen


                          • Shohei
                            • Oct 2007
                            • 2854

                            Beautiful! Enjoy your time!



                            • Shinzan
                              • Nov 2013
                              • 338

                              Wow, Taigu, that is amazing!! Sounds like the man's soul is equally amazing. A delight that such people are walking around on this planet.