Shakyo – bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark

Our first online Shakyo 写経 practice event saw us come together from Scotland, and elsewhere such as the rest of the UK and Canada, forming a lovely group of sutra tracing and copying practitioners. This was a joint event I led for the D+P Studio and Glasgow Zen Group. Beginning with an introduction about the …

Tracing the heart of the Heart Sutra – Tokyo 2019

Towards the end of the year as the dry leaves rustled across the pavements, Blair practiced Shakyo Sutra tracing at temples in Tokyo, working mainly from Genjo’s version of the Hannya Shingyo – Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra. You can see the hanging scroll of Genjo / Xuanzang in the Soto Zen shakyo …

Limitless – Kusen collaboration

John Fraser’s Kusen No. 197 “A teacher and his student were standing by the shore. In the distance was a boat. The teacher said to the student ‘forgetting about your mind for the moment, point to the boat’. The student pointed to the boat. The teacher then said ‘forgetting about the boat for the moment, …

Reworking Dogen’s white mountain poem from Sanshodoei

From the Sanshodoei poems, I have been working on the English translations with John Fraser – 我庵は こしのしらやま 冬ごもり 凍もゆきも くもかかりけり waga iho wa koshi no shirayama fuyugomori kouri mo yuki mo kumo kakari keri my hut in the white mountain of Koshi enclosed in winter’s ice and snow wrapped in cloud Eihei Dogen

Bring me your mind – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen 130 Eko said to Bodhidharma, “my mind is not at peace, please pacify it” Bodhidharma said, “bring me your mind and I will pacify it” After a while Eko said, “I have looked everywhere for my mind and I cannot find it” Bodhidharma said, “There! I have pacified it” In Eko’s question, we …

Sho calligraphy mark making

Making some marks with fude brushes and fudepen using Japanese sumi ink. Beginning practicing for a series of three Drawing and Painting Studio workshops. Experimenting with the brush stopping and flicking, speed of the marks and energy. In the first Shodo group the Kanji characters ten – heavens/ sky and shin or kokoro – heart/ …

The light will not break – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen Book Of Serenity, Case 36: Master Ma Is Unwell The Case: Master Ma was unwell. The monastery superintendent asked, “Master, how is your venerable state these days?”The Great Teacher said, “Sun face buddha, Moon face buddha” Commentary: “unwell” is a euphemism. Master Ma (Baso) was mortally ill, and died the following day. Sun …