The Zen monk Chih-chang and the famous poet Chang Chi

This remarkable work, still preserved in Japan, is by an Indian priest who lived in fourteenth century China. His name was Indara, and he mastered the Chinese Zen painting, with its extreme economy of line.

The picture represents the meeting between the Zen monk Chih-chang, who succeeded the Sixth Patriarch

at his temple, and the famous poet Chang Chi who held high ministerial rank.

A related poem reads:

Loving the Buddha, saintly men go to the holy West;
Averse to the Buddha, Bodhidharma turns his back and comes to the East.
They met in the tea-house of Illusion,
Dozing there, they lived through the dream.

East and West from the Old Zen Master

© Trevor Leggett

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