“The Paradise of Maitreya” – a Fundraiser

Sokuzan with one of the 108 limited edition giclée prints
Sokuzan holds one of a limited edition of 108 signed and numbered giclée prints from his original watercolor “The Paradise of Maitreya”

About the Art
An interpretation by Kyoun Sokuzan based on a small detail of a head-shaving ceremony for monks in this 13th-14th century Chinese Buddhist wall painting (dry fresco) on clay and straw substrate painted by Zhu Haogu, “The Paradise of Maitreya” was originally housed in the Xinghua Si Buddhist Temple of Xiaoning, Shanxi, China. In the 1920s and 1930s, the wall painting was disassembled and moved to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) of Toronto, Canada, where it remains today.

This limited edition of 108 signed and numbered giclée prints, “The Paradise of Maitreya,” is from an original watercolor by Kyoun Sokuzan shown full size 30” x 40” on the wall behind him. Sokuzan holds one of the 18” x 24” available prints.

229.7# Epson cold press, acid-free, archival paper
Paper size:
20-1/8” x 25-1/4”
Image size:
18”x 24”
$250.00 (unmatted and unframed)
Domestic Shipping, Handling, & Insurance:
To purchase:
By check mailed to SokukoJi Buddhist Monastery, 33 Anderson Ct., Battle Creek, MI 49017 or send payment using PayPal to sokukoji@gmail.com with the notation “Paradise” in the subject line.

Sokuzan working on “The Paradise of Maitreya”
Sokuzan sits by a window, finishing “The Paradise of Maitreya”, a watercolor interpretation of a small detail of a wall painting of a head-shaving ceremony for monks.

About the Artist
Kyoun Sokuzan, Soto Zen Buddhist monk and abbot of SokukoJi Buddhist Monastery in Battle Creek, Michigan, was a draftsman and illustrator in the US Marine Corps from 1959-1963. During the last year of his military service, Sokuzan began his fine arts studies at the School of the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., studying under Alexander Russo with focus on human figure drawing. Following his military service, Sokuzan attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he majored in painting and sculpture.
Besides watercolor, Sokuzan explored a variety of visual mediums throughout his art career including wood carving, scrimshaw (miniature ivory engraving), brush and ink calligraphy. From 1980 to 2003, he made his living as a sign painter and designer.
Since the early 2000s, Sokuzan has taught Opening The Eye Mind™, a training seminar he developed over the years for appreciating visual arts. Through exercises that combine the traditional practice of sitting meditation awareness practice with specific visual techniques that highlights aspects of visual consciousness hitherto ignored—such as balance and the innate codependency of apparent separations—the observer learns to prioritize visual awareness over the judging, evaluating mind.

A Fundraiser for the SokukoJi Buddhist Monastery Gompa
Proceeds from the sale of the “Paradise of Maitreya” prints will help fund the remodeling of the space for a Gompa as well as support ongoing work of the monastery. As many of you know, in addition to studying with his Zen master, Kobun Chino Roshi, Sokuzan also studied under Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu and Shambhala Buddhist paths. The Gompa, located on the top floor of the monastery, will house shrines, thangkas, and space to support those who are practicing forms of these paths, i.e., Chenrezig, Vajrasattva, Kagyu ngöndro, Rigden/Werma Sadhana.

“A Meditation Primer” now available on Kindle

“This small book of talks arose because there seemed to be a need to express and repeat what shikantaza, or just basically sitting, is all about. It is meant to reinforce, repeat, and help you dig a nice deep groove—in the awareness of how to do this, in the recipe of how to do this, in the protocol of how to do this. Just simply sit and observe.”

Coming from over forty years of study, practice, and teaching, Sokuzan introduces the simple discipline of the sitting practice of meditation. Whether you are new to shikantaza or have meditated for some time, the basic ‘recipe’ at the back of the book, the seventeen short meditation instructions, and the notes from his two talks, “Meditation Doesn’t Work,” Sokuzan’s approach can help inspire you in creating or continuing a daily meditation practice.

A soft cover printed book is also available.

Sunday October 29, 2017 – “Sokuzan Interviews Monks” – by Sokuzan

Unyo asks about how to work with the poison of ignorance, Kozan asks about difficulties that appear to intensify with practice, and Chiezan asks about how to live a sane life when there is intense negativity.

Saturday October 28, 2017 – “How To Be Perfect” – by Sokuzan

You might say, or you might think “Let’s have the fruition of this whole thing. I’m tired of running in circles and hearing ‘you’ll get there, keep going!’”. The Second Noble Truth, the cause of suffering is wanting things to be different than they are. We want things to be perfect.

Wednesday October 25, 2017 – “Perceive The Perception” – by Sokuzan

Keep practicing. At some point you will look at the thought as an object and you will see if there is someone who sees that and see that what is arising and what thinks is arising is dissolved in perception only.

Sunday October 22, 2017 – “Meditation IS Action” (Talk Five) – by Sokuzan

It’s not that you should sit still and meditate 24 hours a day, but you probably would do well to investigate, observe who this is and what the fundamental situation is before you jump into something. Meditation IS action. You watch what moves so that the action that gets strengthened is the ability not to grasp, reject or ignore what is in front of you. We are so fundamentally not separate. Meditation does not produce something. It reveals something. Instead of more peacefulness, you create less warfare. Peacefulness is already the case.

Wednesday October 18, 2017 – “Meditation IS Action” (Talk Four) – by Sokuzan

Meditation is very, very powerful. It is radical. It means going down to the root to find your own buddha nature. You might be a nice person with good intentions, but If you have not inspected radically, you will take your unexamined consciousness, your unexamined agenda and political ideas out into the world and it will get mixed up with the other aggression out there and you won’t be able to tell the difference. Not only will you suffer yourself, you will cause others to suffer. Clarify who you are and what is happening so you don’t have to rely on propaganda when you go out in the world, and don’t do anything unless you have to.