Kazuaki Tanahashi, born in Japan in 1933 and working in the United States since 1977, is an artist, writer, worker for peace and an environmental advocate. Kaz’s one-stroke paintings, multicolor Zen circles, and calligraphy have appeared in solo exhibitions throughout the world. His publications include Brush Mind, Penetrating Laughter: Hakuin’s Zen and Art; and Lotus. Since 1960 he has dedicated much of his life to translating Zen master Eihei Dogen’s writings, in such books as Moon in a Dewdrop, Enlightenment Unfolds, and The True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Three Hundred Koans. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and founding director of A World without Armies. Photographs of his colorful enso [circle] paintings appear here. “The circle belongs to everybody,” Kaz says. “Young or old, physically fit or not, anyone can draw a circle.”
Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel lives in the wild and craggy mountains of Crestone, Colorado. She has studied under the guidance of her teacher and husband, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, for twenty-five years. She has a master’s degree in Buddhist studies, has completed over six years in retreat and now guides students in long solitary retreats at Longchen Jigme Samten Ling, Kongtrul Rinpoche’s retreat center in Crestone. She edited both of Kongtrul Rinpoche’s books, It’s Up to You and Light Comes Through. Her first book, The Power of an Open Question, will be released by Shambhala Publications in September. Elizabeth is haunted and inspired by the challenges that arise for Buddhist practitioners. She is particularly focused on the Buddhist teachings on emptiness and how to bring them to life directly. In her article, “Power of an Open Question,” Elizabeth leads us through a personal inquiry while she grapples with her assignment: “What is the practice of open questioning?” She will be leading an online retreat at tricycle.com in September.