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Shakyo – Tracing the Sutras
30th May 2020 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm BST
Peaceful practice following the short ten line Kannon Sutra (Bodhisattva of Compassion)
The practice of Shakyo is a meditative and spiritual practice offered in many temples in Japan. It often starts with a bow before beginning to slowly trace the original text of a chosen Buddhist Sutra. We will trace the Boundless Life Ten Line Kannon Sutra, 延命十句観音経 Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo, which is short but poetic, full of energy and beautifully written. This sutra has many interpretations, a popular one is that it helps wellbeing in times of sickness or difficulty.
People do this with care to mindfully copy each character, and often people find the experience is peaceful, and nourishes wellbeing. It doesn’t matter whether your writing is good, and you don’t need to have faith in Buddhism or knowledge of Japanese at all. Sutras can be copied in Japanese or English. For many people Shakyo can also be a dedication to their ancestors. And for monks it is a regular part of their temple activity.
This is a quiet practice using body and mind, dating to around the 8th century, where you grind your own ink and use a small calligraphy brush and Japanese paper. It will be led by Blair Thomson, a Glasgow Zen Group member who was instructed in Shakyo at Seishoji and Daijoji temples.
No previous experience is needed. You don’t need to have calligraphy materials, and we will email you about what you can use in advance of the event. Spaces are limited so please contact us by email to book a place and we will send you all the details you need to participate. If you would like to find out more about previous Shakyo events please go to the Drawing and Painting Studio Shakyo pages.
Blair organises, runs and co-runs several events, many of which are art and meditation related. Some are free community groups and others have an admission charge, most are through the D+P Studio and some Glasgow Zen Group. Please have a look at each event and feel free to come along and join!