Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh

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Thay-doing-Calligraphy

I wanted to write about calligraphy as meditation.   Serendipity brought me to this website – Thich Nhat Hanh Calligraphy.   The website briefly describes Thich Nhat Hanh’s use of calligraphy as a meditative practice.

Thich Nhat Hanh, 77, is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, author, and peace activist.   He lives in the Plum Village Monastery in the Dordogne region of France, and travels around the world to give talks and retreats.   A long-time exile, in 2005 he was given permission to return to Vietnam for a visit.

“In 1966,” the description begins, ” Thich Nhat Hanh sat in front of a simple handmade lampshade with a calligraphy pen dipped in traditional Chinese ink and wrote: Lamp of Wisdom. On two others he wrote Lamp of the World, and Lamp of the Full Moon. They were gifts for three of his advanced students at his School for Youth and Social Service in Vietnam, founded to respond to the impact of the war.”

“These phrases were among the first of many calligraphic meditations Thich Nhat Hanh was to write.” His meditative art represents a “distillation of an ancient Buddhist teaching adapted for our modern times, capturing and expressing his lifetime of meditative insight, peace, and compassion.”

An exhibit of Thich Nhat Hanh’s calligraphy will run through December 31, 2013 in New York.   To learn more about the exhibit click here.

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