Zazenshin: Acupuncture Needle of Zazen, by Shohaku Okumura

Can just sitting be enough? Do we really find it difficult to do something without ulterior meaning and motivation? I found this article interesting, it resonated with some conversations had in the Zen meditation group I go and further, I related it to when I dance Butoh: do I have an ulterior motif..or do I dance for the invitation…dancing bliss, just dancing, because there is no because. What do you think? Does this relate to your practice?

ph: image in the article by artist Marcelle Hanselaar

Buddhism now

Zazen is the centre of our practice and also the centre of Dogen’s teaching. The Shobogenzo Zazenshin is one of Dogen’s writings in which he discussed the essential nature of his sitting practice. He wrote this text in 1242.

‘Za’ means ‘sitting’, and ‘zen’ is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word ‘chan’ which is the transliteration of the Sanskrit word ‘dhyana’, meaning ‘meditation’. A literal translation of ‘zazen’ is ‘seated meditation’. ‘Shin’ means ‘acupuncture needle’. Today’s acupuncture needle is made of some kind of metal, but in ancient times it was made from bamboo. An acupuncture needle is a kind of instrument to heal sickness. My translation of this title, Zazenshin, is ‘Acupuncture Needle of Zazen’. Zazen is an acupuncture needle to heal our sickness.

Human Sickness

Buddhism Now cover Oct 1990. Art © Marcelle Hanselaar What is our sickness? I think it is very clear. Shakyamuni Buddha said that we have been shot with an arrow…

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5 digital megatrends towards the Museum of the Future

This is a topic I am working on. Museums. This article inspired me to further my vision.

British Museum blog

Chris Michaels, Head of Digital Media and Publishing, British Museum

There is no end of digital fads that might make a significant impact on the British Museum. Every time I open LinkedIn, or read a blog, there’s something new, or seeming-new, waiting to be tried. It’s fun.

But what really matters? What are the things that take our mission of being the museum of and for the world, and reveal an entirely new dimension to that great Enlightenment aim; that find a new way to make it real?

That’s a harder question, but it’s the strategically critical one that we will try and answer in the months and years ahead.

Today’s second debate in the Museum of the Future series, Changing public dialogues with museum collections in the digital age, is a crucial staging post in the process of us starting to talk about what digital means.

In advance…

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awakening love

“The biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her”- Bob Marley

This quote appeared on my facebook feeds a couple of days ago. It did something to me. (Supposedly said by Bob Marley, a signer I do love – but besides his music- I never really read much about him or his quotes).

It caught me in stillness. All my attention went to those words, in a second. I felt 100% present. I looked at the sentence again, what grasped my attention, were the words “awakening love in someone with no intention of loving”.

This happens. In every field of life. Not solely within men and women in a romantic relationship; it happens between teachers and students, masters and disciples, within ourselves. How many times have I found myself asking “Why did I do all this for?” – In a way, I was awakening my love towards something with no intention to carry it through because, who knows…

Besides these last considerations, this sentence made me reflect upon the relationship between teacher and student; I thought of the times in which  students  fall in love with the subject, but teachers do not engage further – of course, the reverse happens, students might awaken the teacher’s love with no intention to love back. I tend to favour the student in this reflection, as the teacher should know that to awaken the love for the subject in a student and deepening this love, entails knowing the art of letting go the best.

I chose Butoh, – ten thousand times-  and as such, I have those that I consider my teachers, and the dance itself as a teacher. There have been times where I have awakened the love and hid, scared and shy; there have been times where I have been awakened and abandoned; now it is a consistent awakening loving relation of many types. Both in  presence and willingness. Willing even to say “oh…cowardice is here!” and to reply to myself “well let it in and say hello, you might end up having a dance, you never know”.

I thought of my role as a facilitator of Butoh dance and realised that, when I witness participants falling into Butoh with love, curiosity, awkwardness, difficulty, when I am made witness of the awakening of their senses, coming in touch with their many bodies, and I see the stupor in front of their imagination at work, I love them even more. I love this moment. I feel so privileged. I want to love them forever. Because it is in those openings that we dance together, that we awake to one another and to the relations that surround us; we see our eyes, our lives and what it took to be here. Then, it happens, the awakening becomes a reality and life has entered yet a bit more.

Witnessing the awakening of someone’s love towards something, discloses a precious moment of human beauty.

“The biggest coward is a teacher who awakens students’ love/passions with no intention of loving them” – Ambra

Thank you for reading, Thank you for dancing


Image: unknown artist – found on

Yumiko Yoshioka: a life time Butoh artist; 14-16th of November 2014 workshop in Glasgow, Scotland


Yumiko Yoshioka is a butoh dancer/choreographer  of incredible artistic experience and creation. Currently based in  Berlin, Germany were she works since 1988. Yoshioka was one of the first dancers to tour and work with Carlotta Ikeda and her company Ariadone (1974). Carlotta Ikeda’s company, co funded by Ko Morobushi, was the first women’s butoh company.

“Since 1981 Yumiko Yoshioka has been alternating between Japan and Europe and has been living in Germany since 1988, the year in which she founded with Minako Seki and Delta R´ai the group tatoeba THÉÂTRE DANSE GROTESQUE, which till its break-up in 1994 successfully toured Japan, Europe und North America. In 1995 arose the TEN PEN Chii art labor, led by Yoshioka, the visual artist Joachim Manger and the American musician Zam Johnson. Its works have included: ´N. YoiN´, ´DA-PPI´, ´iki – an interactive body dance machine´, and ´TEST LABORATORY Z.0005´. The company is at home in Schloss Bröllin in the Northeast of Germany (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), where Yumiko Yoshioka is the artistic director of the butoh-related art project ´eX…it!´ and the curator of the festival ´Pro Existence´ (2004). ´furu zoom´ was premiered at the festival ´Über Schönheit/About Beauty´ in the House of World Cultures in Berlin (2005)”

One of the most extravagant  projects so far has been ´Test Laboratory Z.0005´, enclosing four dancers in a threatening 2.50 m high metallic machine. Hares, set free in the surroundings, activate one or another light-installation, which in turn activates mechanisms for opening or sealing enclosures. The body is hermetically caught then free to move in two water basins. Likewise picturesque and metaphorical, though aesthetically plainer, are the works involving Yumiko Yoshioka as a soloist and with which she regularly tours with TEN PEN Chii, while continuing her didactic work and acting as the artistic director and curator of various projects at Schloss Bröllin”- Author: Constanze Klementz (

14-16 November 2014 Workshop in Glasgow

Yumiko has been a guest of Moving Bodies International touring Butoh festival in 2014 offering her workshops both in Cork at the Firkin Crane and Torino at the theatre Espace.

It is possible to join her workshop from the 14th to the 16th of November in Glasgow, Scotland. If you can, I highly recommend to join and spend two days dancing with Yumiko. It is not necessary to have any previous experience, nor being a Butoh-ist…

Click here to read more information: facebook page event

Thank you,

Love and Dance

Francis Bacon Mb Art Foundation Monaco is open!

I am very excited to see that  Francis Bacon Mb Art Foundation website is up on line now. I have been waiting this moment since the summer as I was really curious to see what type of activities will be funded and the artistic direction of the Institute.

Francis Bacon Mb Art Foundation is located in Monaco.

Bacon lived and worked in Monaco from mid-1946 to the early 1950s, repeatedly returning to the principality and the Riviera throughout his life, “drifting from luxury hotel to luxury hotel, eating and drinking too much”. He said of Monte Carlo: “It has a kind of grandeur, even if you might call it grandeur of futility. There is something so beautiful about the view you get from the casino when you look out on the bay and the curve of the hills behind. I love that kind of landscape.”

Boustany said: “Although few people know of Bacon’s time in Monaco, there is a legitimate reason for housing the Bacon Foundation in the principality. It was in Monaco that Bacon really began to concentrate on painting the human form, a crucial step that would lead him later in his life to become one of the greatest figurative British postwar artists.” (The Guardian September 2014)

Enjoy Bacon’s voice talking about immediacy here on a youtube link I found:

“But one must remember that every object has its own passions…

Would accident work for me so that I could you record you?

We have a short moment of existence…

…crystallising a moment of our own existence…that’s all we have…why does one want to do this? we may say it’s a mystery…”


Here you can peruse the website:

Read the full article on The Guardian:

Read  Francis Bacon Estate Blog:

Rare Francis Bacon Interview 1971 Baird Archives

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