POETRY OF AWAKENING
from China, Japan, and India

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Join Sensei Kaz Tanahashi and Stanford scholar Linda Hess for a weekend of reading and creatively engaging with Buddhist poets Hanshan, Dogen, Hakuin, Ryokan from the 7th to 19th centuries, and with Kabir–an iconoclastic mystic of 15th century India whose roots reach to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Indian Islam, but who refuses to be identified by any religious or sectarian label.

Hinduism, Buddhism, and yogic meditation all emerged from ancient India. In the Buddha’s time, these streams intermingled. Over millennia and across cultures, traditions evolved and were defined in different ways. Their common roots include a conviction that liberation from ignorance and suffering is possible through self-knowledge, discipline, right understanding and practice.

What do Kabir and the Chinese/Japanese Zen poets have in common? They all compose powerful and inspiring poetry. They urge us to wake up. They observe the fragility of life, the poignancy of suffering, and the imminence of death. They have a sense of humor and an eye for irony, sometimes sharply observing our foolishness, hypocrisy, and absurdity. They hint at an experience beyond words or concepts, pointing or playfully alluding to it, tricking or surprising us into entering it. They offer insights into the nature of the mind, the ways of delusion, and the call of awakening.

Plunging into the poems, we will relate intimately with their words, forms, and ways of unfolding. We will discuss questions of translation and reflect on the poetry’s relevance to our own practice. We will hear singers interpreting Kabir’s poems musically and see film clips that show his living presence in India and Pakistan. Participants will try their hands at creating poems or other works inspired by the poems we encounter together.

Required Reading:
Download PDF Preface & introduction to The Bijak of Kabir (about 40 pp). This document will not be available at Upaya.
Or you may choose to order the book itself, The Bijak of Kabir by Linda Hess.  This site gives you both new and used options.

To further your interest:
Bodies of Song: Kabir Oral Traditions and Performative Worlds of North India by Linda Hess

Instructor(s): Sensei Kaz Tanahashi  and  Linda Hess, PhD

Location: Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, NM

For more information and to register: Email registrar@upaya.org   Phone  505-986-8518 ext. 112   Click here to register