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Awake Youth: Seven Bodies of Liberation at BZC

The No-Eyes Viewing Wall at Brooklyn Zen Center presents seven large collaborative mindfulness drawings created by members of the Awake Youth program in collaboration with artist Noah Fischer. These drawings depict the Seven Bodies of Liberation, as conceived by the teenagers from within an intensive space of meditation and reflection on their lives as part of the Awake Youth Program, now in its third year. 

Friday June 14th from 7-9 PM

Please sign up for the event on Facebook

Silence and Noise at the No-Eyes Viewing Wall

The No-Eyes Viewing Wall at Brooklyn Zen Center is proud to present Silence and Noise, a new multidisciplinary project that will open on Friday, April 13th from 7pm to 10pm.

In the Zen Buddhist tradition, each silent meditation period begins and ends with the striking of a bell. The sound waves emanating from the vibrating body of the bell fill the room, envelop the sitters, and slowly pulse to silence. The silence that abides is in fact not silent at all, but filled with the sound of breathing, noisy thoughts, and street traffic outside of the meditation room. From this non-silence, the bell emerges once more. The sound of the bell, as Shunryu Suzuki Roshi notes, is both objective and subjective. Objectively, it is the movement of the air in the vicinity of our ears and body; subjectively it is the transmitted effort of the bell striker encouraging our efforts to encounter silence, peace, and freedom. 

Silence and Noise is a boundary-crossing project for the No-Eyes Viewing Wall. A group of artists that includes sculptors, sound-designers, musicians and researchers has been meeting for several months, meditating and sharing ideas together, and slowly soaking in the unique silence of the Brooklyn Zen Center space. From this experience, they have created a series of organically evolving sculptures that will be displayed on the No-Eyes Viewing Wall from April 13th through mid July. Like the striking of a bell, this exhibition will be being to pulse and resonate on April 13th with a very special evening performance reinterpreting the traditional Zen form for sitting, walking and chanting. 

Participating artists: Serra Victoria Bothwell-Fels, Terence Caulkins, Vanessa Cronan, Billy GombergAnne GuthrieElizabeth HendlerRaúl HottLili Maya, Mike O’Toole, James Rouvelle, Mica Scalin. 

Curated by Terence Caulkins and Noah Fischer.

please note: Silence and Noise, is also the title of an unrelated book by Ivan Richmond. The full title is Silence and Noise: Growing up Zen in America. You can purchase Ivan's book on Amazon here.

Zen Monster on the No-Eyes Viewing Wall


Zen Monster 3 Lunch at the No-Eyes Viewing Wall
readings by:

Barbara Henning, Lewis Warsh, Edgar Oliver, Kimberly Lyons, 
Steve Dalachinsky, Yuko Otomo, Robyn Ellenbogen, 
Fred Dewey, Brian Unger, Anselm Berrigan, 
Ammiel Alcalay, Noah Fischer

music by adam bernstein 
amerigo mackeral & the octave doktors


the launch event at the brooklyn zen center, 505 Carroll Street, on friday night nov. 4 for zen monster magazine marks our 3rd issue-- an unusually strong and clear statement of buddhist, non-buddhist, and trans-buddhist art, poetry, and subversive political statement -- our strongest endorsement yet of gary snyder's landmark essay "Buddhism and the Coming Revolution," which we printed in ZM#1 back in 2008. our zen buddhist praxis here in brooklyn and n.j. is edgy, overtly political, and aesthetically liberated from any particular form or artistic ideology. we back the Occupy Wall Street movement 100%; our art editor noah fischer has been in Zuccotti Park since day one, even demonstrating as an artist there on wall street before day one with a small group dressed up as currency, as money, and he is there today and every day. 

we are a tri-coastal community of poets, writers, artists, thinkers, activists, and people committed to the middle class, to working people, to the 99%. in terms of buddhism, roughly 50% of our authors & artists, in any one issue, are overtly buddhist practitioners -- the rest are our secular friends, cohorts, intellectuals, artists, fellow travelers, etc., who do not object to our existential religious ideals -- and that is what zen monster is: a space for writers and artists, edited by buddhists, but with clarity acknowledging intellectual, artistic, and political freedom from any ecclesiastical framework or supervision whatsoever. given history, we know this is important.

thank you, and please join us on Nov. 4, 6 - 9 p.m. refreshments will be served. and we will 'just honor everything,' as Philip Whalen once advised. 

zen monster #3 includes:

Iulia Anghelescu
Diane DiPrima
Tyler Doherty
Brian Unger 
Erica Essner
Fred Dewey
hank lazer
George Albon
Liz Waldner 
giovanni singleton
naja marie aidt
Elizabeth Sylva
Junior Clemons 
Elena Rivera
Norman Fischer 
Laynie Browne
Meredith Stricker
Catherine Spaeth
max gimblett 
michael wenger 
arlene shechet 
claudia viera 
william anastasi 
karen schiff 
ross bleckner 
maggie wells 
dove bradshaw 
carrie fuchs 
robyn ellenbogen 
miya ando 
suzanne lacy 
noah fischer 
hirokazu kosaka 
sanford biggers
Norman Fischer 
Denise Newman
Monica Heredia
Brad Warner
David Chadwick 
jeff burns
steve dalachinsky
victoria dearing 
jesse lee herdman
aaron howard
edgar oliver
yuko otomo 
ned wilbur
heather utah
Noah Fischer
David Silva 
Donna Stonecipher
Kimberly Lyons 
Michelle Murphy 
Joseph Donahue
Michael Hennessey
Joe Safdie
Jeffery Beam
Kotatsu John Bailes
Charles Thorne
Kyle Waugh


No-Eyes Viewing Wall

The central practice in Zen Buddhism is called “wall sitting.” One sits in silent meditation, facing a blank wall, for minutes, hours, or even days at a time. While Brooklyn Zen Center offers many such walls for sitting, one wall is different. The
No-Eyes Viewing Wall is a space where artists are invited to exhibit and work for a period of two to three months, and where, at each viewing, the artists and sangha (Buddhist community), as well as the public, engage in a discussion or activity that explores the creative experience.  Like other Zen walls, the No-Eyes Viewing Wall is a place to explore the mind. 
Art and Zen are related methods of mind-research. To engage fully in either practice, we must make a sustained effort to focus the mind, so that over time, the meditation or the creative process acts as a mind-mirror: the work shows us who we are. Years of practicing Zen or making art peels back layers of past conditioning, allowing old assumptions that no longer address the moment at hand to drop away. Strong practice may herald the arrival of a more awake, focused “zone,” which artists often experience as a state of mind without self-doubt: action is immediate, paintings paint themselves, and not-knowing is exhilarating rather than scary. The No-Eyes Viewing Wall is a site of not-knowing; it’s an invitation to the many creative discoveries that are possible when one leaves knowing behind. In this spirit, the No-Eyes Viewing Wall promotes artistic collaboration that can take an artist beyond the conception of a singular creator—“I”—to a place of limitless dialogue and connection.
Zen is a physical practice: we try to sit still and upright, to stay awake and to notice little changes in the body. Artists, too, must practice a physical discipline by engaging fully and actively with materials and working painstakingly with the logic of the concrete world.  Being in the art zone means that our senses are tuned to act and interact with openness and precision. It may mean that the hand grips the brush in just the right way, and the body dances nearly effortlessly with wood, plastic, paint, metal or video. Art objects document this dance with their many surprising qualities, and like a beautifully honed bell, their presence in the Zen Center inspires people who come to sit.  The works stay on the wall for a few months, where they become an important part of the still, silent, and limitless space.
-Noah Fischer, curator of the No-Eyes Viewing Wall