July 31, 2011

Painting Gogo-an

"Gogo-an" by Allyson Essen, 12 x 12 acrylic, 2011
Sunday afternoons finds us doing plein air painting at Olympia Zen Center.  Allyson Essen has taken up Gogo-an as her subject and we're planning a small exhibit and sale of her Gogo-an paintings at the Ryokan event with the Port Angeles Zen Community next weekend.  Any paintings not purchased there will be brought back to OZC and will be available for purchase here.

Allyson has truly captured the atmosphere of Gogo-an.  If you try to paint it too strictly, you miss the point entirely.  You have to paint it a little off kilter and free form to be with the loving heart of Ryokan and get at the soul of the hut.

Gogo-an is a unique architecture and just to see it creates an intimacy, a particular sentiment, a longing for solitude.  It also generates joyfulness because it seems to say it has forgone all attachments to suffering.  While living at Gogo-an demands great sacrifice, to draw near to the realization of one's Buddha Nature, to feel intimacy with oneself and nature, brings about great happiness.  Gogo-an invites that realization.

Gogo-an in available for personal retreats and is most comfortable during summer.  Very hardy individuals have done long winter retreats there.  Please call Olympia Zen Center or email if you would like to stay there for personal renewal and reflection.