Saturday, March 5, 2011

What is Hidden in an Empty Box

What is hidden in an empty box is a well known zen koan. Introduced by Dogen (a major figure in Zen Buddhism), koans are an important part of Zazen or the seated meditation. Koans are questions posed by the teacher to the disciple. There is really no answer to the question but sitting meditation is the way to understand what the question means. With understanding comes enlightenment.

This handpainted, decorated wooden box symbolically plays on the theme with the placement of an antiqued key on the lid along with a Chinese zodiac coin. The text on the cover is the koan itself and the tilt of the birds' head gives the impression that they too are asking the same question! Thanks to Graphics Fairy for the vintage birds image. The box comes with a handmade micro journal on which you can jot down down your meditative thoughts.

The box is painted, distressed and weathered on the sides. The lid is decoupaged with a lovely distressed patterned paper. The aged look of the box is absolutely lovely.

The box measures approx 2 1/4" x 5 3/4" x 4 1/4". It is available in my Etsy shop

This box is completely handmade by me and I donate the proceeds from the sale to supporting physically handicapped children and adults. For more information go to htpp://

Thanks for visiting.


  1. The box is beautiful as well as the journal! Personally I have never seen a box that I didn't open... just to see.

  2. Very informative and intriguing! Beautiful box too!

  3. Thanks for sharing Indira! So fascinating learning about Zen traditions, marvelous piece of artwork!


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