K191 Baby Daruma by Nakagawa Sōen 中川宋淵

龍山人
ナリ
気象
︹禅︺ノ
自然
是レ
即チ
ナキハ
一息ノ間断モ
ナク
一刻ノ急忙モ
Not one second of hurry,
Not one lost breath,
This, this is the natural state of Zen!

(signed) Mountain man of Ryū[taku-ji]

Nakagawa Sōen (中川宋淵, 1908–1984)
K191 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 29.6 cm × 41.9 cm.

 

Sōen’s master, Yamamoto Genpō, used to brush little baby Darumas like this when one of his parishioners gave birth, and presented it to the parents as a good luck charm. Here, Sōen portrays the baby as a true Zen being—not in a hurry, not anxiously short of breath, just living in the moment.