Chestertown, MD — The Zen principles of mental tranquillity, fearlessness, and spontaneity will be clarified by Reverend Keido Fukushima, chief abbot of Tofukuji Monastery in Kyoto, Japan, at Washington College on March 23. His lecture, "What is Zen?" takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hynson Lounge. At 4:30 p.m., Reverend Fukushima will give a demonstration of calligraphy in the O'Neill Literary House. Both events are free and open to the public.
Reverend Fukushima is well known as a Zen Master of special depth and insight as well as a calligrapher of rare discipline and adeptness. His calligraphy is highly prized in Japan as well as the United States, where it has been exhibited to great acclaim in New York and San Francisco. While touring America recently, Reverend Fukushima gave a calligraphy demonstration at Columbia University. Kay Larson, an art critic who also practices Zen, wrote for The New York Times that Reverend Fukushima "chatted freely with the audience. Suddenly he stopped talking. He mediated for a few moments, seeming to reach deep within himself. Then he picked up a thick, chunky brush and paused. Strike! The deed was done: a dense black circle. He gave it away."
Born in Kobe, Reverend Fukushima joined the Rinzai Zen school of Buddhism in 1947. After graduate studies at Otani University in Kyoto, he joined the monastery of Nanzenji in 1961. In 1971 he became the vice abbot at Hofukuji temple in Okayama prefecture. He came to Tofukuji as the leading Zen Master in 1980 and was appointed the head abbott of the Rinzai school of Buddhism in 1991. He has given lectures at 20 universities in the United States, including Harvard, Columbia and Bucknell.
Reverend Fukushima's appearance at Washington College is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the Campus Events and Visitors Committee.