About the Book
The title, I Am The Buddhas and the Buddhas Are Me, is drawn from The Gate of Sweet Nectar, an ancient Sanskrit to Chinese to Japanese to English Buddhist chant, To my ears, that line rings true. The colorful squares are the colors of The Five Buddha Energies, which is a similarly ancient system of categorizing personal styles.
The chop says Ku-Ku in Japanese, or Kong-Kong in Chinese. In English the literal meaning is cloudless sky, one might say it translates as Nothing-Nothing or Emptiness-Emptiness or even Emptiness-Fullness. The name was given to me by Maezumi Roshi’s Japanese brother, Junyu Kuroda Roshi, who wanted to give me a Buddhist name that would also serve as a clown name. When it came into his mind, the audience at a quiet Lincoln Center dance concert witnessed a Japanese man in monk’s clothing break into rolls of raucous laughter.
The people in this book represent the first and second generation of American and European Zen teachers. There are others.
Peter KuKu Cunningham.
Peter Cunningham has been a professional photographer for over 30 years. His teachers include Baptist fisherman Lester Tate, modern dancer Martha Myers, French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, Zen Master Bernie Glassman and American performing artist Bruce Springsteen. Peter has exhibited his photos in New York, Krakow, London, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, Berlin and Grand Manan, Canada; his clients include singers, teachers, chefs, playwrights, athletes, accountants, actors, fishermen and clowns. Peter teaches“Photography as Zen Practice” in the US and China and is co-author with Peter Matthiessen of “Are We There Yet? A Zen Journey through Space and TIme.” He is also a founding member of “ThE OrdEr of DIsOrdEr”.