Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Meditation in Motion

My friend Ben Discoe sends this comment:

For many years, my father taught both Zen Buddhism and Japanese carpentry, to the same students, using the same method: having them diligently sharpen their plane blades, slowly, by hand, then diligently planing wood by hand, for long hours, as a meditation in motion.

The work speaks for itself. Just look at the above joint, and imagine the mental discipline and concentration required to perfect this type of work. Read more about it in Paul Discoe's book:

Zen Architecture: The Building Process as Practice


  1. I don't think it is just limited to Zen Buddhism. It is a normal human response to perform contemplative work. Most of our modern tool either do the work too quickly or do too much of the work for us to allow us to perform work in this fashion any more.

  2. Not to mention the sounds that power toools make, and also the mild adrenaline which comes from the fear/respect I have for them. I am anything but relaxed while using a table saw, despite following all safety protocols and knowing how to operate it. I still get a bit tense every time.