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Dairyu Michael Wenger Interview

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Dairyu Michael Wenger Interview

Postby sweepingzen on Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:27 pm

Here is a fairly brief interview I did with Dairyu Michael Wenger of the San Francisco Zen Center, a person who has served the institution there in several capacities (including President). Dairyu is a very direct individual and I sense he is not much in to intellectualizing the Dharma--his answers are straightforward and very to the point. It was an honor to have interviewed him and I am grateful for his help.


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Re: Dairyu Michael Wenger Interview

Postby christopher::: on Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:18 am

SZ: Ink and brush painting have been an important part of your Zen practice, and in some respects your paintings aren't entirely orthodox. Tell us about your painting, both as an art and as your practice.

MW: For me, ink and brush painting are about being free. Usually, but not always, I start with a free stroke of the brush without any ideas. I then discover something within the stroke, or strokes, which I build upon. The vibrancy of the stroke, not the conception of the idea, is what awakens my brush/mind.

SZ: Being 'free' is associated both with Zen practice and “being American”—could you explain what being free is, in the truest sense?

MW: To be free is to not be hindered by your habits and tendencies. It is true beginner’s mind, not limited by the usual way, or unusual way, of doing things. Something fresh or new, discovering the world as it is—alive, different, upon each moment—not what I think that it is. Nor is freedom reactive, in the nonconformist/conformist American sense.

Brilliant. Thanks so much for that..!
Here's a link to some of Rev. Wenger's paintings over at cuke.com...


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