Category: Culture

Moktak and Chukpi: Korean instruments for meditation

The moktak and chukpi are traditional Korean percussive instruments used during meditation. We are pleased to make them available here at Still Sitting.  The moktak is a drum similar in shape and timbre to the Japanese mokugyo, sometimes called a “fish drum.” The chukpi or “bamboo clacker,” is slapped against the hand, emitting a loud… Read more »

Rinzai Gigen and Shogun Zen

According to the Zen tradition, awakening can arise from the most shocking and unexpected places: a terrifying shout or a blow to the shoulder. While hard to imagine today, it was sometimes these unconventional methods that Linji Yixuan, known as Rinzai Gigen in Japan, utilized in his teachings. Rinzai Gigen, an iconoclastic Chinese Zen monk,… Read more »

Kuan Yin Statues and and Iconography

Kuan Yin (also known as Guanyin and Kannon) is the bodhisattva of compassion, a revered figure in East Asian Buddhism known for her boundless mercy. Throughout the centuries, artists across China and Japan have depicted Kuan Yin in various forms, including statues and art, each infused with rich symbolism and spiritual significance. Here we’ll delve… Read more »

Who is Bodhidharma?

In Buddhist lore, few figures loom as large and enigmatic as Bodhidharma, a man whose fierce scowl, framed by deep vermillion robes, is pervasive from East to West.  Revered for transmitting the teachings of Chan Buddhism, the predecessor of Zen Buddhism, from India to China and becoming one of the patriarchs of Zen and Shaolin,… Read more »

What is Buddhist New Year?

Buddhist New Year is a time of reflection, renewal, and celebration. This auspicious holiday is a reminder of the impermanence of all things and an occasion to make a fresh start. It encourages us to release attachments to the past and embrace the present moment with open hearts and clear minds. In Japan, the new… Read more »