“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao” so begins the Tao te Ching; “The Book of the Way,” by Lao Tsu. Over 25 years ago I consciously began my journey on the Path. One of the first books I stumbled upon was Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Tao. I keep a copy with me and drag it out every once in while. Sometimes I get in a mood where I take my pocket copy with me everywhere, though I may never look at it when I do. The message is pretty simple: Don’t try to control the universe. Be in the moment, let life guide you, and become a master by not trying. Of course there’s more to it than this. I refer you to the first sentence in this post. I’m sure the Old Boy knew the irony of making that the first line of his book.
In the passing years I’ve learned many things, and unlearned many as well. I have to keep unlearning them. One of the things I’ve seen real value in for me is practicing zen calligraphy. The method is very similar to what I’ve just stated; be in the moment, let the universe be in charge and in this way, become a master. As zen is a Japanese form of Buddhism, the calligraphy is Japanese as well. Japanese traditionally write in Kanji, which was originally Chinese, like Taoism. The calligraphic method can be applied to any writing; indeed it can be applied to life itself. Using the tools to render the Taijitu (yin yang symbol) is a natural.
What made me realize this was of course watching Kung Fu Panda III.
I was struck by the idea that the image can be seen to describe a spinning effect; as is often depicted with the yin and yang chasing each other. What was significant this time was how it is a symbol for everything. our galaxy is spinning, the sun revolves around it, the earth around the sun as it spins on its own axis. Dervish spin in meditation. Also, in reading up on the symbol, pronounced “Tai Chi tu” by the way, many of the complimentary aspect it represents were explained including one which I hadn’t thought of: the expanding contracting duality of life. This is key to Hamsa meditation, as well as understanding non dualist Kashmiri Shavism, which is another key component of my education.
So rendering the Taijitu deeply gratifying to me. It is a powerful exercise and a powerful symbol.
To purchase this product, click here
Hand done Sanskrit calligraphy on Tibetan paper and placed on a t-shirt just for you! What a great way to exercise! Isn’t it great how that worked out?
Devi is the Goddess of India. Manifesting variously as Kali, Saraswati, Lakshmi & Shakti. Worshipped as the mother of all creation, Devi envelopes us all in her eternal love.
Rendered in the zen style with sumi brush and golden ink on lush paper, hanmade in Nepal from plants indigenous to the Himalayas, this premium product will look stunning in any meditation room, yoga studio, home or office.
This item is hand rendered just for you upon ordering, so each one is unique and may differ from the picture shown.
To purchase click here
Zen Calligraphy, also known as hitsuzendo, is a style of calligraphy that does not rely on traditional calligraphic aesthetics; instead it is created by the calligrapher, who puts him or herself into a meditative state, and lets the energy he taps into, flow through him and into to the calligraphy. If this is new to you, you may be saying, “what the what?” Let me explain.
First, when I say meditative state, I don’t mean like a hypnotic trance. I mean that the calligrapher empties himself (I’m going to use the male pronoun, because I am mainly speaking from my experience, but understand that this is a method that women use as well) of his own thoughts and opens himself to become an instrument, an extension of the brush if you will. In this way, the true Self is the calligrapher and not the ego. As this is a Japanese style of calligraphy, we will use the Japanese term Ki to refer to the energy that the calligrapher channels. This energy can be seen in the powerful and free look to the brush work.
This calligraphy was developed by Zen Buddhist monks and is itself a form of meditation. Traditionally, the work consists of a Japanese word or phrase, but can also be a picture or an abstract brush stroke. Once the method is understood, the practitioner is not limited to Japanese calligraphy, but can use the method in any art form. Indeed, Zen masters explain that there is no difference between “shodo” the way of the brush and “kendo” the way of the sword.
I have begun to apply the method to Sanskrit calligraphy. In Sanskrit, Ki is Shakti. Both words refer to the same energy that permiates the cosmos, and gives us life. It is everywhere and everything is made of it. It creates, sustains and will ultimately dissolve the universe. In India, Shakti is worshiped as a goddess. The awakening of this energy and connecting with it is known as kundalini yoga.
This Handpainted Sanskrit Swan Hansa Calligraphy on Himalayan paper depicts a pictogram of a swan above the Devanagari Sanskrit letters spelling “Hansa” the Sanskrit word for swan. The swan is a Hindu symbol for enlightenment and transcendence. The word “Hansa” is also an ancient Mantra wherein one inhales “Han” or “Ham” and exhales “Sa” This is also known as the “So Ham” mantra.
Painting is approximately 6×8 inches.
$30 plus shipping
Namaste: “The divine in me salutes the divine in you” Handprinted on Tibetan paper. The sacred language of Sanskrit emotes the creative energy of the universe contained within it. This traditional greeting of India will touch the heart of any on whom it is bestowed. It will make a treasured gift or frame it and put it in your own home to show guests they are welcome.
Each Sanskrit calligraph is hand done individually, and is therefore unique. May not match pictured calligraph exactly.
$30 plus shipping
Guru is a Sanskrit term that connotes someone who is a “teacher, guide or master” of certain knowledge.In pan-Indian traditions, guru is someone more than a teacher, traditionally a reverential figure to the student, with the guru serving as a “counselor, who helps mold values, shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student.” The term also refers to someone who primarily is one’s spiritual guide, who helps one to discover the same potentialities that the guru has already realized. The ultimate Guru is Shiva.
This piece is rendered in the Shodo style with Sumi brush and ink on Lakta paper which is made in the Himalayas from materials indigenous to that region. Shodo Calligraphy is a form of meditation in itself and is meant to imbue the piece with the meaning of the word. Each piece is therefore unique in appearance.
Each piece is 8″x10″
$30 plus shipping
Devi is the primordial Goddess of India. All the goddesses are a manifestation of her. She is mainly seen as the female counterpart of Shiva. Sometimes as Shakti, the creative energy of the universe, or Kali the destroyer, she has been worshiped since before recorded time. (In fact Kali means “beyond time” & Aditi means “infinite”) She is the mother of us all, our protector and she will collect us back to her bosom at the end of time.
Here, the Sacred Sanskrit word “DEVI” is rendered with a brush and black ink onto lokta paper, which is made from materials indigenous to the Himalayas.
Each piece is made to order and is an original; so it will vary from piece shown.
piece is 5×7
$30 plus shipping
The Sanskrit word “Buddha” is rendered in blue lightfast, permanent ink with traditional sumi brush on rice paper. Usually reserved for Kanji, the Zen style of calligraphy calls for the calligrapher to empty his mind and become a vessel for the universal life force or chi to flow through him, guiding him as he renders his work. This process imbues the work with vital energy.
This piece is aprox 9×12 and is the perfect addition to your yoga space, meditation area, home or office.
The word Buddha means “awakened one” or “the enlightened one”. “Buddha” is also used as a title for the first awakened being in a Yuga era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha (Pali sammāsambuddha, Sanskrit samyaksaṃbuddha) of the present age.Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region. He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala.
Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni, or simply the Buddha, was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE.
$30 plus shiping