Photo by Pasquale Esposito

Cultural association "Flowers in the Sky"
( article n 2 of the cultural association's statuto)

The association takes form, life, from the need to deepen and promote the practice and education of tradition zen (following the master F. Taiten Guareschi's teachings "soto zen" Fudenji zen Temple www.fudenji.it)
From the passion to explore, to research about expression and communication in the art (of theater and film) integrating Zen's principles and from the study and interest in the relationship that exist between expression, wellbeing and health.
The name of the association "Flowers in the sky" is the translation of the Japanese word "Kuge" (which is the chap 19. of "Shobogenzo" written by Dogen Zenji) sky stands for "empty" thus "Flowers in the empty". This corresponds to the principle of the insubstantiality (one of the three seals of Buddhism) thus that everything exists and nothing is real, in the sense that nothing has its own fixed reality, fixed measure, fixed form, nothing that is alive, has its own nature or independent, autonomous substantiality.
Buddha's nature and the nature of illusion are the same roots.

In the Heart's Sutra is written: (Shiki Soku Zeku) phenomena are emptiness and (Ku Soku Ze Shiki) emptiness is the phenomena. This is one of the fundamental pillars of Zen Buddhism and it affirms the no dualism (subject and object) rather the interdependence, the unity of the existing and of the emptiness. Separated and isolated phenomena do not exist and nothing exists independently from our individual perception. This is the heart of the association.
Religion and any other spiritual act, it's all about the act of opening my eyes in front of the realty of myrself.

A Buddhist phrase says:
"In the sky there is no east, no west, we make these distinctions in our mind and then we believe them to be true. In the world everything comes from the mind, like objects that come out from the magician's hat".

The focus of the association is to create a cultural movement, an education, an approach that places attention on the zen Buddhist principles.

There are no techniques or methods to copy, but rather a first person research as human being who listening and manifests for interdependence, natural integration with the surroundings and immediate world around.
This journey, research, happens through a key element which is fundamental in both zen, theater and expressive arts:
the body, the complete implication of the being, lastly, the direct experience.

The association affirms that "to feel" is an essential verb, more specifically, to feel is not about emotions, it's about sensations that emerge in an encounter, in a physical, sensorial dialogue with the world in which I am.
The association affirms and strives to have a sense of the "other". It promotes a vision of togetherness, worldly, integration of life. To have a sense of empty space and to physically feel part of it, like a vase and his empty space.
To have a sense that whatever creative act, is in the act of receiving, the let come in, to let be, and whatever I do, consiously, is a kind of cut off and isolating.
To have a listening for what is original.
To have a feeling that every movement, gesture, look, event, phenomena, is not isolated, rather it's part of a larger event.
The only way to harvest all of the above, is through direct experience, key to zen teaching, the only doctrine remains an idea, a philosophy.

For the association a human being is not just the representation of what we commonly call a man, with his role, his personality, his story, but is rather the presentation and expression of our original nature. If we would see that original nature revealed through his actions, this would touch us. This is the purpose of the association in proposing theatre and education.

"To study Buddha's way is to study ourselves and to study ourselves is to forget ourselves, removing every barrier between one's self and the others."
                                                                                                   Dogen Zenji