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Finding balance and harmony in Shodo calligraphy

We began our Monday online calligraphy class on zoom with an introduction by Blair to each of his materials and tools uses, then we worked stroke practice and holding the fude for particular strokes.

Finding balance and harmony in Shodo calligraphy

This time we brushed the four kanji characters of the zen phrase Mujō Seppō 無情説法 which can be translated variously as inanimate things teach reality, or the non-emotional preaches dharma. It is about the wonderful nature of all things around us, which Blair explained more about at the class, and the background to the zen phrase.

We wrote these together in two styles (kaisho, sōsho), enjoying the difference in the shapes, and finding a harmonic layout, which most participants particularly enjoyed in the more flowing fully cursive style ✨

Finding balance and harmony in Shodo calligraphy

Here is a poem from master Dōgen expressing some of the feeling we expressed in the calligraphy..

Rising, as the mountain
Peaks and valleys deepen –
The twilight sound of the cicada
Singing of a day
Already gone by

Master Dōgen

Many thanks to those who shared pictures of their work made at the group to include in this blogpost.