Zen practice
Tea ceremony
Thought-provoking facts

A paintbrush is moving rapidly and precisely on a sheet of white paper, leaving dark, soft and energetic ink lines. The evocative ratio of full and empty appears immediately clear, and the spirit is rapt: we are in the front of a work of Sho, a calligraphy.

Whereas in the West it is associated to an exercise of "good handwriting", in the East calligraphy is intimately linked to painting. It is an authentic, proper form of art, and as such it is a Way for inner development, or Do, in Japanese. In the Far East a good painter is before all a good calligrapher, as the learning of both takes place in parallel by using the same tools, and going back to the same principles. The aim is to be able to transmit on a sheet the spirit, the deep meaning, the emotion, in such a way that the calligraphed words touch the spirit of who observes them.

In its way from West to East Zen has deeply influenced art, culture and the customs of different people. Thus, besides architecture, theatre, literature and martial arts, also painting and calligraphy have received a strong influence from it. Actually, many of these forms of art have been imported in Japan by Zen monks, who were practicing them in monasteries as ordinary activities. Indeed, it has been Zen to transform these arts in proper Ways of life, providing the codes for their extension beyond the pure aesthetic sense, up to involve the being in the totality of his/her existence.

Buddha's mind
beginner's mind
This japanese characters, representing the nyorai word (tathagata in sanskrit), have been written by Suzuki-Roshi using the end of a big, sword-shaped, leaf from a yucca tree that grows on the mountains close to the Zen Mountain Center.
empty circle
-zen symbol-


Site contents by Dario Girolami