A Japanese term that finds its origins in Zen Buddhism. Literally translated, it means cloud and water and is written by the combination of these two kanji. A translation that is not so esoteric might be 'seeker of truth.' It was and is applied to Zen trainees, who traditionally dress in an all black garb to designate themselves as beginners. As cloud and water are both comprised of the same material so does the unsui flow from situation to situation, freely, openly and without hindrance. The quest of the unsui is for the fundamental truth of the universe.

Unsui has also been applied to wandering itinerant Zen monks who like cloud and water are constantly on the move. Their work is without boundary or deadline. Other schools of thought have also taken the term unsui to describe their lifelong practice. The Bushido, the way of the warrior, has used the term to describe a lifelong disciple of the martial arts. Recently a school of Zen guitar has been founded and entering students are termed unsui.


Sources
www.unsui.org
Like Clouds And Water: The Natural Way Of Manaka Unsui - Eric Baluja
The Zen Guitar Philosophy - Philip Toshio Sudo

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