This is a one-stroke Daruma. Kaz Tanahashi is the master of the one-stroke painting. Good teachers are skilled in the one-stroke teaching.
Sohan Gempo (1848-1922) brushed a representation of the seated Bodhidharma with one flourish of his brush (below right). The “flying white” (dry brush technique that leaves white spaces in the stroke) gives the seated Patriarch a feeling that he is dissolving away into the wall he faces. This is Bodhidharma at the end of his practice. Body has fallen away, mind has fallen away. All that remains are the vestiges of form: nose and down-turned mouth.
The old wall-gazer’s form
seen from behind –
springtime of flowers.
I worry about practising so intensely that my arms and legs fall off. Perhaps I can continue if I hold onto the meager hope that this too is an allegory: a challenge, as Barry of Ox Herding explained in his post Try Try Try, to not stop for 10, 000 years, to keep only what is necessary, and then to let that fade too.
Simply try until all that is left is one-stroke.
Thank you for practising,
Image from Seo & Addiss, The Art of 20th Century Zen