The Mindful Art Of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

When I attended the 2011 retreat in Vancouver, British Columbia, I was treated to the mindful art of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, known as Thay, meaning teacher, by his followers. The retreat was held on the lovely campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC).

One of the highlights of the retreat was the Calligraphic Meditation exhibit at the Asian Center Auditorium on the UBC campus.

We have the wonderful opportunity to see Thay at work on calligraphic masterpieces. We even had the opportunity to purchase the art work. There was even a book of the exhibit with excellent photographs of the art work that Thay signed for us.

I am offering this slideshow of the brochure for the exhibit at UBC because this week, the exhibit has traveled to Thailand.

There was an article in the The Nation, Thailand’s multimedia website that reviewed the exhibit. Here are some quotes from the article:

“I always begin my calligraphy with a cup of tea. I mix some tea into the ink. In Zen tradition, tea keeps you awake and helps you meditate,” says the Zen Master, now 87. While he draws the first half of a circle, he breathes in and while he finishes the second half of the circle, he practices breathing out. “My calligraphy contains mindfulness and tea,” he smiles.

Drawing can be a tool for meditating on anatta or “no-self”, he explains. “While I draw, I visualise the hands of my father, mother and ancestors, so that they are drawing the circle with me. I know that I cannot remove my father, my mother, my ancestors, my teachers and the Lord Buddha from my hands. There is no separate self.”

There is also a short video that you may enjoy.

This is the calligraphy that I bought at the retreat:

Breath - You are Alive

Thay’s calligraphy is certainly wonderful. If you like calligraphy, you’ll love the mindful art of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

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