Copyright 2018 Todd Fry

Mu

American Black Granite, 316 Stainless Steel

27”H x 24”W x 10”D

Mu is a Japanese word that literally means “nothing”, but the translation to English is not that simple. The most well known usage was in a Zen koan, “Joshu’s Dog”:

“Joshu was a famous Zen Teacher who lived hundreds of years ago. While sitting with his students, a stray dog walked by. One of the students asked Joshu, “Has that dog Buddha-nature or not?” The student had barely finished speaking when Joshu shouted: “MU!”

The purpose of any Zen Koan- and ”Joshu’s Dog” in particular- is to guide the student toward understanding the essence of reality; a place where contradictions disappear. “Mu” describes a reality beyond yes or no, good or bad, light or dark. Trying to understand this through intellectualization is impossible. Sometimes the most beautiful thing is the most painful. Sometimes the most horrible thing is the most wonderful.

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