K265 Eyes Horizontal Nose Vertical! by Bankoku Sōreki

Eyes Horizontal Nose Vertical !

(sealed) 祖歴 Sōreki 高国 Bankoku

Bankoku Sōreki (高国祖歴, ~1720)
K265 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 105.8 cm × 28.1 cm.

When Dōgen, the founder of the Sōtō School in Japan, returned from his Zen training in China he was asked, “What did you acquire there?” Dōgen replied, “1 was awakened to the fact that my eyes are horizontal and my nose is vertical. This is the only thing that 1 brought back with me.” Existence, just as it is, manifests Buddha-nature, and our very body, just as it is, contains all the truths of the universe. Nothing more is needed. The brushwork here is powerful and direct, just like the statement itself. Pieces by Bankoku, the 7th Abbot of Zenshō-ji, a Rinzai Zen temple in Gifu. Pieces by Bankoku are quite rare.