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  The role of art in spirituality Back to the List of Slideshows
slide 7 of 9

This is taken from a transcript of a 1995 interview with the eminent
Perennialist thinker and writer Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998).

Question: Besides the “fine arts,” there are—in Japan, for example—the art of flower arranging, the tea ceremony, even the martial arts, which are (or were originally) recognized as manifestations of a spiritual nature. How does it come about that an activity as “everyday” as preparing tea can become the vehicle of a spiritual barakah (grace)?

Frithjof Schuon: The Zen arts—like the Tea Ceremony—crystallize certain manners of acting of the Buddha, or let us say: of Primordial Man; now the Buddha never handled a sword, but if he had, he would have done so like a Zen Master. Acting like the Buddha—even at such a level as preparing tea—means: to assimilate something of the Buddha-Nature; it is an open door to Enlightenment.

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