Yugen (幽玄) is a Japanese word pertaining to a profound awareness of the universe. It evokes feelings that are inexplicably deep and too mysterious for words. The word itself is like an extension of awareness, it’s aesthetic perception allows us to conceive of the vastness of the universe and carries us beyond it into an inconceivably mysterious realm. The feeling of Awareness is induced by confrontation with the brevity of life. Yugen is initiated from the awareness that even ‘aware’ itself is an ephemeral thing. Zeami Motokiyo’s description portrays a medium through which one experiences the unspeakably deep, stirring, feeling of yugen:

“To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill. To wander in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and a gaze after a boat that disappears behind remote islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds.”

Celebrating the Divine Unity of Everything …

(edited slightly for clarity)

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