Shodo returned again in the new year of the cow!

This month we brushed the characters from the spacious 初心 shoshin meaning first time, heart mind, or commonly as ‘beginner’s mind’. Writing this and discovering more about the deeper meanings of the kanji characters in this word that zen monk and calligrapher Suzuki Roshi beautifully used, was a lovely way to start practicing Shodo calligraphy together this year.

Shoshin Shodo Blair Thomson D+P Studio

‘In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few’ (Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind)
After some loosening mark making and strokes practice we worked on the more jaggy kaisho style, and also the curvy flowing sosho style which participants particularly enjoyed!

Shodo calligraphy - brushing Shoshin beginner's mind

Here is the short hopeful and poetic quote by Shunryu Suzuki that Blair read at the group  –

‘Before the rain stops we can hear a bird. Even under the heavy snow we see snowdrops and some new growth.’

Shodo calligraphy - brushing Shoshin beginner's mind

Notice in the picture, in Blair’s bunchin paperweight there is the shape of a cow and the kanji for ushi  丑 cow. It was a gift to him twelve years ago in the last ushi year. 

Thanks to the participants for taking part and sending their images.