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ZEN
AND FUNAMBOLISM

IN QUEST
OF THE AUTHENTIC BEING

‘Zen and high wire walking’ is a unique project of its kind, born from the experience of Andrea Loreni, the only Italian funambulist specialized in tightrope walking at great heights.

Andrea Loreni has been walking high wire for ten years now, and for ten years he has been practicing Zen meditation in the Rinzai Zen tradition. ‘Zen and high wire walking’ is a composite project, the keystone of which will be the tightrope crossing over the lake of the Sogen-ji Temple in Japan. This event will take place in August 2017, and will yield a book and a documentary: a book of thoughts and pictures, and a documentary on the high wire walker’s experience as well as theman’s journey in quest of the authentic being.

THE ORIGINS

“Chisan, the abbess of the Sogen-ji temple, where I have been several times to delve deeper into Zen meditation, found out about my work on the tightrope on the occasion of our first formal meeting. As we drank tea, she asked me many questions and we discussed about fear and art. Eventually she told me that she thought it would be very nice to have me walk the wire at the temple, and suggested that I ask permission to the Roshi, the master.
Arada Roshi responded to my request with the word Dozo, which is Japanese for ‘Please do’. And thus I was given this unique opportunity.
In order to experience it deeply and to make it as meaningful as possible, I wouldn’t like this walk to be an event only for me and for those who will be in Okayama in August 2017. I would really like to share it with anyone interested in the search of his or her own being. I wish that it could be a stimulus to set off in search of one’s own unique and special path”.

THE PROJECT

The tightrope walk on the lake of the temple will be the core of a wider project, which will be deployed to attain the widest possible dissemination and will include:

A walk on a steel wire stretched across the lake at the Sogen-ji Temple in Okayama, Japan. The Sogen-ji temple is a Zen temple of the Rinzai tradition under the guide of Roshi Shodo Arada – www.onedropzen.org
The crossing at the temple will allow to enact a geographical reunion of Andrea’s two arts-disciplines: the meeting point of his two very own paths of human, personal growth.

“The funambulist’s walk is an archetypal act, a symbol of every research path, and is therefore able to speak directly to the subcon- scious of each of us.”

A documentary narrating the paths that have led Andrea Loreni to be the first man in the world to make a tightrope walk in a Japanese Zen temple. An embraceable testimony of this extraordinary and original quest for the authentic being, a personal interpretation of the human need for the absolute.

“Those points of dense and very deep being give birth to Art and to its ability to communicate with every conscience. There lies, in fact, the creative void from which everything originates and which permeates everything.”

A book of thoughts and images, an aesthetic, visual and mental memory of those moments of absolute present, in which Zen and high wire walking meet.

”The balance on the cable is a continuous search, it mostly comes down to managing the imbalance; however I have experienced moments of perfect equilibrium in which the infinite silently explodes and I am, albeit still, in every place.
In those moments my relative Me dies and I reach my authentic being , which lies at the bottom of all things.
Those moments have been transformative for me, they have disclosed my true being beyond my small relative self.”

 

 THE PROJECT PHASES

STEP 1 – THE CONFERENCES
December 2016 – April 2017
In order to sustain and disseminate the ‘Zen and high wire walking’ project, a cycle of thematic conferences will take place in the cities of Turin, Milan, Rome, Padua, Brescia and others to be defined.
Three conferences will be held at the Circolo dei Lettori of Turin, in the months of March and April, which will be attended by internationally renowned guests; these will discuss specific topics with Andrea, such as courage, fear, the relationship with the void, discipline, man’s search for meaning and the symbolism of the high wire walker’s path.
These and other dialogues will be collected in the documentary.

STEP 2 – THE CROWDFUNDING
April 2017
The launch of the crowdfunding campaign is scheduled for April 2017, with the aim to promote the project and its partners as well as to involve private individuals in the production of the event.
The campaign’s launch will coincide with the first of the three talks to be held at the Circolo dei Lettori in Turin (March 22nd, 2017), followed up by a launch party, open to the public, in a famous Turin venue.

STEP 3 – THE CROSSING
August 2017
Water has depth, but this depth is different from the void of the air; both elements are abysses, but the water’s abyss is invisible.
The walk at the temple will be a geographical opportunity to unite Andrea’s two arts-disciplines, the meeting point of his personal paths of human growth.

STEPS 4 E 5 – THE DOCUMENTARY AND THE BOOK
From September 2017
The ‘Zen and high wire walking’ project will come to completion in the shape of a book and a documentary: a book of thoughts and photos and a documentary on the high wire walker’s experience and on the man’s journey in quest of his own being. The goal is that the crossing does not confine itself to an event only for those who will be present and that it can be shared. May it become a stimulus, an incentive for the quest of every one of us, an invitation to seek our own path towards authenticity, towards our existential truth.
Our hope is that every one of us manages to find his own way in a completely unexpected place.
The documentary will narrate the quest of the funambulist-philosopher for authenticity, a quest that derives from reflection, from meditation, from traveling, from restlessness and from the wire on which Andrea walks; the film will reveal the paths that have led Andrea to make a tightrope crossing inside a Zen temple.
The book will gather the thoughts and images of the trip and of the enterprise in Japan: philosophical thoughts along the main theme of the striving of man toward the absolute; a photo book as an aesthetic, visual and mental memory of those moments in which Zen and acrobatics meet.

 

Watch the video

Con il Patrocinio di:

Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Osaka e del Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la Formazione “Riccardo Massa”

Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca

Media partner

Con il supporto di: Reale Società Ginnastica di Torino • Flic scuola di Circo Torino

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