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Description: With its bold strokes and mystic aura, Zen calligraphy has fascinated Westerners for decades, yet it remains an abstract, rarely practiced form of expression outside of Asia. Now, master calligrapher Tanchu Terayama explains the techniques behind this subtle art and offers step-by-step instructions for practicing it on a professional level. After introducing the basics, Terayama presents a unique meditative warm-up to establish the proper mental attitude needed to release one's creative energies. Next, the power of the brushed line is explained and demonstrated. What makes a good line or a bad one, an expressive effort or an unfocused one? Lessons on brushing symbolic Japanese characters follow, including those for "emptiness," "nothingness," and "flower." The painting section shows readers how to draw the spare yet elegant pictorial themes of this classic art: bamboo, plum blossoms, Mount Fuji, and the inspirational Zen priest Daruma. If the exercises are the heart of the book, the Appreciation section is the soul. This chapter introduces classic works from renowned priests and other historical figures, including Miyamoto Musashi (the celebrated swordsman and author of The Book of Five Rings), Morihei Ueshiba (the founder of aikido), Jigoro Kano (the father of judo), and Zen priest Hakuin. Each masterpiece is accompanied by penetrating commentary on the strengths and salient features of the work. Rarely has Zen calligraphy been demonstrated and discussed with such candor and insight. Illuminating yet another side of Zen, Zen Brushwork will be an invaluable source to those interested in meditation, Zen, Buddhism, the martial arts, and Oriental traditions in general. Contents Introduction Part I Background What is Zen Calligraphy? The Evolution of Kanji The Fundamentals of Calligraphy The Four Treasures of Calligraphy Hitsuzendo Part II Preparation-Warming Up and Developing Ki The Zen Line Yoki-ho: A Method of Developing Ki and Warming-Up warm-up exercise 1: Yoki-ho: The Long Version warm-up exercise 2: The Short Form of Yoki-ho: A Five-Minute Exercise warm-up exercise 3: Kusho: Writing in the Air Part III Zen Calligraphy and Painting Basic Practice The Zen Line and Its Applications exercise 1: Mujibo (The Zen Line) exercise 2: Enso (The Zen Circle) exercise 3: Horizontal and Vertical Lines exercise 4: Fine Lines Tensho (Seal Script) exercise 5: So (Grass) and a Practice Line Kaisho (Standard Script) exercise 6: Sho (Calligraphy) and Practice Lines Further Practice Sosho (Grass Script) exercise 7: Mu (Nothing) exercise 8: Hana (Flower) exercise 9: Ku (Emptiness) exercise 10: Mu Ichi Motsu (Owning No-thing) exercise 11: Ichigyo Zanmai (Be in the Moment) Writing Western Script exercise 12: Writing Western Script: ABC exercise 13: Shodo (Calligraphy) Painting exercise 14: Orchid exercise 15: Bamboo exercise 16: Plum Blossoms (with inscription) exercise 17: Mount Fuji exercise 18: Daruma exercise 19: Wall-Gazing Daruma exercise 20: "One-Stroke" Daruma exercise 21: Ji-Wa-Choku (Compassion, Harmony, Honesty) Part IV Appreciation Works by Old Masters Works by Terayama Tanchu Glossary What is Zen Calligraphy? Calligraphy (sho) is a formative art based on writing. It includes not only writing that is beautiful, but phrases that are novel and interesting. According to the Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945; see figure 1), true creativity is not the product of a conscious effort but rather the "phenomenon of life itself." True creation must arise from mu-shin, or the state of "no-mind," a state beyond thought, emotions, and expectations. Work that is produced through conscious effort is ultimately devoid of life. Zen calligraphy in particular must spring from shonen sozoku, a Bu