Zen Calligraphy

My inspiration is taking me to the art of Zen. Japanese Shodo is what I’m fascinated with because painting with ink in this way is a release. There is no longer a need to create form or communicate. Zen is about nothing. There is a lot of freedom in nothing. It is a progression in my life of spiritual transformation that started when I was 17, and has accelerated in the last 2 years.
zen calligraphy
I am still practicing. It feels like being back in school. This time, however, there are no bullying teachers. Silence is my teacher, experience is my teacher, contemplation of the verses is my teacher. This is a liberating experience.

“When Water Reaches Purity, No Fish.”

“When water reaches purity, no fish.”

What this verse means to me:

Fish symbolizes “unfinished business”, needs unmet that result in fixations. As we try to let go of unfinished things, we liberate ourselves. However we also know that pure water sustains no fish…

The mind is never empty. We are plagued with thoughts and trapped emotions. These are like fish swimming in the infinity of our being. As we clear ourselves from this ‘fish’ the mind gets clearer. We can never really attain purity of our ‘water’ because in order to sustain life, or more aptly put, as long as we are living, ‘fish’ will always come to the foreground of our consciousness.

What is the circle next to the script? That is the Enso, a symbol of zen.



“As it is.”

Shodo Calligraphy
“As it is”

The two ideograms here express a fundamental aspect of Zen “like this”.
Everything that is happening and has happened in our lives and in the universe is supposed to happen. There is liberation acceptance of what is.

In Gestalt Therapy studies, we learn that to be in the moment, and to have an I-thou moment with another, we accept what is. What is, is.

Painting this work today, I got an insight to my past, and this help relieve me of anger towards the unfairness of people related to the Catholic Church in my life. As the result contemplating “what is”, I feel at peace with all the bad that happened from the horrid experiences. I am also able to see, that, out of the rubble, are some invaluable insights wisdom I have gained that are uniquely mine to keep.