Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Buddhist Geeks 212: Redesigning Zen w/ Taiun Elliston

This week Vince speaks with Taiun Elliston on how he combines his background as a designer with his Soto Zen practice.

Buddhist Geeks 212: Redesigning Zen

28. Mar, 2011
by Taiun Elliston

Zenkai Taiun Michael Elliston, Roshi received his higher education in Chicago at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology (Received B.S. 1964 and M.S. 1970) From 1966 to 1970 he taught art and design at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle Campus, and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and enjoyed a successful career in industrial and graphic design serving diverse national accounts.

In 1966 Roshi met Matsuoka Roshi, founder of the Chicago Zen Buddhist Temple. After training under Matsuoka-Roshi, he underwent Lay Ordination (Zaike Tokudo) and was given the dharma name Taiun, meaning “Great Cloud”. He was registered with the Soto Shu in Japan July 13, 1969 (Priesthood Register No. 164); ordained as a Zen Priest March 22, 1970. After which he moved to Atlanta and began offering Zen meditation and in 1977 founded the Atlanta Soto Zen Center. Taiun was presented the title of Osho (“authentic”) on September 20, 1983, and underwent a formal transmission ceremony (Shiho) with Shohaku Okumura Roshi on August 5, 2007.

Website: SilentThunderOrder.org

Episode Description:

We’re joined this week by Soto Zen teacher Zenkai Taiun Elliston. Along with the being the abbot of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, Taiun is also a long-time professional designer, having trained and taught modern design. We ask him to share his perspective on the interplay and parallels between the two fields, which brings about a very interesting conversation about the aesthetic of simplicity, the importance of sensory engagement, and the nature of the medium we are exploring, whether it’s a physical medium, as in design, or the medium of consciousness itself, as in Zen.

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