Wooden Business Cards [+ Soto Zen Buddhism]


above: the cards gifted to me by Rev. Master Koten [lions gate buddhist priory]

above: first completed wooden business card with the bfc logo side A - framed

I have a 'problem'. I sometimes wait, and wait, and wait for that right moment, inspiration, or feeling when approaching a project. It's been this way from the beginning, whether it's life choices, simple decisions, or in this case finding the perfect - and 'me' - business card.

Naturally for a material I gravitated towards wood, which holds dual importance in my life not only as a medium but as a means. I've been woodworking now for 5+ years, and have gained such an affinity for the craft, and all the smells and wood shavings that come with it. So it was going to be a wooden card; that much I knew.

I sat with many ideas of how I wanted to make these cards - slight frustration building. Until one day I came across an old memento [pictured on the left], one I had received years ago from Rev. Master Koten Benson of the [Lions Gate Buddhist Priory]. I met this magnetic figure years ago in his local Vancouver Soto Zen (Buddhist) congregation - and later decided to join him and another Rev. Aurilian a top their humble and utilitarian mountainside outpost.

I spent two weeks there in retreat, practicing zazen (meditation), eating, sleeping, and shitting in a true zen spirit. All peppered with some of the best discourses and real life teaching I've had on eastern philosophy with Rev. Master Koten. It was amazing, and I am forever grateful for the time I spent on 'Dragon Flower Mountain'.

On leaving, the Rev. Master gifted me two wooden cards carrying hand stamped Buddhist effigies. One day, years later, I opened an old journal and found these two cards. They instantly transported me to the time I spent in retreat; their thoughtful preparation, and the utilization of this otherwise simple material, the feeling they carry of being made for one person to another all resonated with me. I later made my cards with these gifts and their meanings in mind.

 

above: first batch of wooden business cards - side A

above: first batch of wooden business cards - side A

above: first batch of wooden business cards - side B

above: first batch of wooden business cards - side B