This Zen calligraphy quotes a phrase taken from The Diamond Sutra. The Zen calligraphy scroll with six Japanese kanji
應 無 所 住 而 生 其 心 ,
Ō mu sho jū ni shō go shu,
Give birth to a thought that is not attached to anything,
shows a straightforward unrestrained brush work.
The calligraphy is mounted on a soft sandy beige silk scroll which adds a pleasing quietening undertone to this art work. The scroll has a natural wooden roller at the bottom.
Size of the hanging scroll h x w :
88.6″ x 41.3″ ; 225 x 105 cm
If you would like to buy this Zen calligraphy scroll, click here.
An artist friend of mine once asked me why he should want to be a Buddha, why the need of it? At that time I couldn’t give him a good reason, but if I would tell him that a Buddha is free of suffering, would that drive him to seek for Buddhahood? Or still better, if I told him that our mind is the Buddha, only that we live in ignorance of it, would that inspire him?
Anyhow I would like to be Buddha, free of suffering, full of love and wisdom, and ultimately free. So how to go for it?
I took up the study of the Vajracchedika or Diamond Sutra, our Buddha body as Red Pine calls it so beautifully in his introduction to his translation of the Diamond Sutra,
The Diamond Sutra may look like a book, but it’s really the body of the Buddha. It’s also your body,…
And one of the lines that caught my particular interest, and what this calligrahy is about, is the verse from chapter 10, which in the original Sanskrit version says :
“[…apratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam yan] na kvacit-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam,”
and was rendered in Chinese/ Japanese with the following characters
應 無 所 住 而 生 其 心
I found some of the following translations in English :
… [the Bodhisattva, the great being,] should produce an unsupported thought ( (E. Conze, The Diamond Sutra in Buddhist Wisdom Books, pg 45)
… [all the Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas] should thus rouse a pure thought (D.T. Suzuki, Manual of Zen Buddhism, pg 43)
…[Bodhisattvas] should in this way give rise to a pure, lucid mind…”( Kumarajiva)
… [fearless bodhisattvas] should thus give birth to a thought that is not attached and not give birth to a thought attached to anything.” Red Pine, The Diamond Sutra, pg 8).
For all of you who want to understand more about this verse, I recommend the reading of the essay “peeling an orange: Kumarajiva, the Diamond Sutra, and the mind that abides in no place”, masterfully written by Seon Joon at her blog Thus.
Near the end of her writing she resumes.
What does this line mean? In the context of everything I’ve looked at here, I would say:
應無所住 而生其心 points to our lucid, pure original mind free from attachments, beyond the cycle of birth and death, fully awakened.
That’s what this phrase evokes in me, a sense of liberation and true freedom, hence my calligraphy.
Related pages featuring Zen Calligraphy and Painting
| Zen Art Gallery | Zen Calligraphy Scroll |
| Zen Painting Seeing Into One’s Nature | Zen Enso Circle |
| Zen Calligraphy Scroll Mushin | Zen Calligraphy Scroll Namu Dai Bosa |
| Heart Sutra Scroll | Heart Sutra Mantra | A Glass Of Wine? |
| Zen Skull Paintng | For Whom Do All The Flowers Bloom In Spring? |
| Japanese calligraphy home | Shodo Art Gallery | Buddhist Art Scrolls |
| Brush Painting Gallery | Kanji Art Gallery | Sutra copying |
| About the artist |