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Heaven and Earth in Shodo calligraphy
4 May 2021
At our recent Zen Brush calligraphy group we brushed a lot of strokes and had fun laying out the kanji.
The text we copied was the first line of Chapter seven of Lao Tzu’s mystical Tao Te Ching (道德經 The Way of Virtue Classic, expressing spontaneity and naturalness in how we live our life with others) – about the eternal duration of heaven and earth, and we explored it by brushing four kanji in the hanshi sized paper ✨
‘Heaven and earth are enduring.The reason why heaven and earth can be enduring is that they do not give themselves life. Hence they are able to be long-lived. Therefore the sage puts his person last and it comes first, Treats it as extraneous to himself and it is preserved. Is it not because he is without thought of self that he is able to accomplish his private ends?’
Blair showed participants how to fold the paper, find a good balance between the characters, and how and where to add their name. Everyone really enjoyed the challenge of brushing four kanji in the single page and expressing some of the poem (which one person described as sublime) in their own inky brushstrokes. Some participants kindly sent pictures of their shodo, thank you.