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Shakyo – Tracing the Sutras December 2020

Peaceful practice following the poetic sutra opening Kaikyoge and compassionate Fueko

Shakyo Hannya Shingyo

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Online by Zoom


Sunday 13th December 2020, 2.00pm - 4.00pm


£15 (Eventbrite ticket link)

Age Suitability



13th December 2020
2.00pm – 4.00pm (UTC +0)

The practice of Shakyo is a meditative and spiritual practice offered in many temples in Japan. It often starts with reading or chanting then a bow before beginning to slowly trace the original text of a chosen Buddhist Sutra. We will trace the Kaikyoge Sutra Opening Verse 開経偈 and the Fueko 普回向 Universal Turning of Merit, short verses which are wondrous and thankful, and written in the graceful shakyo style.

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

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 harmonising body and mind, dating to around the 7th century Tang Dynasty, where you can grind your own ink and use a small calligraphy brush and Japanese paper, or alternatives.

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

No previous experience is needed. You don’t need to have calligraphy materials, you can take part with basic paper and either a brush pen or simply a pen or pencil. We will email you about what you can use in advance of the event. If you would like to find out more about  previous Shakyo events please go to the Shakyo pages.

It will be led by Blair Thomson, a Glasgow Zen Group member who was instructed in Japanese temples.

Booking is through Eventbrite, after you book we will email you the Zoom link and details for the group. Sorry but tickets are non-refundable. Feel free to come early for a cuppa and settle in.

Tracing the Sutras – Shakyo Peaceful practice following the Heart Sutra

Deeply, slowly and softly - Shakyo tracing at KSD

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

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