A true companion for the journey, Precious Mirror, combines Kobun Chino’s brilliant calligraphy with translations of the poems into English enface. Kobun Chino Otogawa was an instrumental figure in the transmission of Zen to America and its evolution within our culture. Although he came to assist Shunryu Suzuki at the San Francisco Zen Center, Kobun was enamored of the way Zen, unfettered, blossomed in new soil and he followed it wherever it grew. For Kobun, Zen was not an institution, but the elemental nature of every aspect of our lives and existed in myriad forms. Kobun founded four temples, taught Buddhism at Stanford and Naropa University, demonstrated and taught Calligraphy and Archery. When Steve Jobs founded Next Computer, Kobun was listed as it's Spiritual Director.
“Kobun Chino has been gone fifteen years, but what vitality remains in his brushwork! Which is to say he was a dragon-master of Zen’s ability to reach “beyond words.” Gesture, ink, space, light, laughter; dry brush, wet brush, sadness, form, emptiness! His calligraphy is so direct it whisks past language. And yet most North Americans can’t read the words that hold all that spirit. So Gary Young uses syntax, line break, rhythm, type font, and American words to create poems that reflect Kobun’s own ink-strokes. If someone asks, what is Zen—give them this book.”—Andrew Schelling