Sunday, 7 April 2013

Bangkok Post News: A brush with enlightenment

The Bangkok Post News Online published an article on 8th April 2013 about Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh putting on an exhibition of his calligraphy at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre titled: A brush with enlightenment.

Here are some of the key quotes and some pictures from his visit:
"World-renowned Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh mixed tea with Chinese ink, picked up the brush and demonstrated his art of meditation through calligraphy.

Effortlessly, the 87-year-old master executed slow, steady strokes. His body was still, yet his hand flowed naturally, a conduit of his insights.

This is it. Peace is possible. Breathe and smile.

Short and simple, profound and powerful, phrases such as these have become Thich Nhat Hanh's signature statements that encompass core Buddhist teachings and remind practitioners of mindful practice.
"Writing calligraphy is a practice of meditation," said the poet, writer and peace activist who is famous for his teachings on applied Buddhism in everyday life. "The way I do calligraphy, I do it in a certain way that can generate the energy of mindfulness, concentration, insight and compassion during the time of practice."

Held for the first time in Thailand, the exhibition "Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh" presents the largest collection of the Zen master's calligraphy to date.

"When I begin to draw a circle, I will breathe in during the time I do the first half of the circle. When I do the second half of the circle, I breathe out," said the master.

"During the time I draw the circle, I realise too that this hand of mine contains the hands of my father, mother and ancestors. So my father, mother, ancestors and teachers are doing the circle with me. And since we are doing the circle together, there is no self, no separate self. So drawing a circle, you can get an insight of anatta or no-self."

 ...the Zen master began his calligraphic expression in 1994 simply as a tool to nourish his students in the art of mindful living.

Among his most popular calligraphic pieces are Breathe, you are alive, This is it, Be beautiful, be yourself, and I have arrived, I am home.
Every piece of calligraphy serves as a topic of meditation, said Thich Nhat Hanh. Take for instance Be beautiful, be yourself. The master elaborated: "In order to be beautiful, you have to be yourself, you don't need to be someone else. Be yourself like a lotus, she is beautiful by herself, she does not have to transform herself into a rose or another flower. There is a seed of joy, love, happiness in you. If you allow these seeds to manifest, you are a beautiful flower in a garden of humanity."
Regarding the calligraphy Let go and be happy, he explained: "Let go of your craving, anger; and even let go of your idea of happiness. Everyone of us has an idea of how to be happy. We need to have this or that in order to be happy. You may not know that that idea of happiness may be the very obstacle to your happiness. If we have the courage to let go, happiness will come right away."
Master Thich Nhat Hanh advised viewers to observe noble silence and mindful awareness when visiting the exhibition.
"Breathe in mindfully and bring your mind to your body. When you are truly there, you can allow the calligraphy to penetrate into your heart," he said."

1 comment:

  1. Good blog... keep-up the good work... May I share a vlog about Tokyo at Asakusa Temple in
    Watch also the video in youtube