Blue Cliff Monastery and ABC Home
invite you to the U.S. premiere of
Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh
September 7 – December 31, 2013
at ABC Home, 888 Broadway, New York
Thich Nhat Hanh shows us the connection between personal inner peace and peace on earth. –His Holiness the Dalai Lama
About Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is best known as a prolific author, poet, teacher, scholar, and peace activist. Yet he is also a master calligrapher, distilling ancient Buddhist teachings into simple phrases that resonate with our modern times, capturing and expressing his lifetime of meditative insight, peace, and compassion.
Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh is a collection of some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s most poignant and most recent calligraphies. On display in the United States for the first time, this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to spend time in the presence of his art, which can be a meditative practice in itself.
For Thich Nhat Hanh, creating calligraphy is more than creating art—it is also a meditative practice. He is fully present for every moment, from drinking his tea, to sitting down and taking a brush, and using the tea to make the ink. He has said that he cannot write poetry if he does not garden the lettuces; the same is true with his calligraphy. Each calligraphy is made of mindful sitting, breathing, walking, smiling – and love. In his own words:
“In my calligraphy, there is ink, tea, breathing, mindfulness, and concentration. Writing calligraphy is a practice of meditation. I write the words or sentences that can remind people about the practice. For instance, breathe and enjoy the kingdom of God in the here and the now or breathe and enjoy this wonderful moment. I think the word ‘wonderful’ means full of wonders. If you are truly there in the moment, you can recognize so many wonders in that moment. The Kingdom of God, the Buddha land is there. So breathe in, bring your mind back to your body and you can touch many wonders in this moment.”
About Thich Nhat Hanh
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, loved and revered around the world. He is the man Martin Luther King, Jr. called “an apostle of peace and non-violence” when nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize, and has been described by The New York Times as “second only to the Dalai Lama” among Buddhist leaders influential in the West. His powerful teachings and bestselling writings on the practice of mindfulness have reached an audience of millions.
For more than fifty years, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a pioneer of ‘Engaged’ and ‘Applied’ Buddhism, applying ancient Buddhist wisdom to a wide range of contemporary concerns, including ecology, politics, consumption, relationships, cultivating peace, community building, and global ethics. He is the spiritual head not only of his lineage within Vietnam, but also of an international Engaged Buddhist community of more than 700 monks and nuns, and tens of thousands of lay practitioners who apply his teachings on mindfulness, peace-making, community-building, and serving society in their daily lives. Thich Nhat Hanh and members of his community offer these teachings all over the world—on campuses, at community centers, at outdoor gatherings—and at his global practice centers.
What is Mindfulness?
Thich Nhat Hanh’s key teaching is that through the transformative practice of mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment instead of getting lost in the past or worrying about the future. Dwelling in the present moment, he teaches, is the only way to truly develop peace, both in oneself and in the world, and is a practice that provides us with the opportunity to transform our suffering. He teaches the practices of mindful walking, mindful eating, deep listening, and mindful speech, adapting the teachings of the Buddha to resonate with contemporary life. He encourages us to ‘wake up’ to the beauty of our planet and our interbeing nature, fostering respect for each other and the animals, plants, and minerals that share this planet with us.
About Blue Cliff Monastery
Blue Cliff Monastery is one of three mindfulness practice centers founded in the United States by Thich Nhat Hanh. Nestled on 70 peaceful acres of woodland in the southern Catskill region of New York State, it is home to a thriving community of Buddhist monks and nuns who share the art of mindful living with hundreds of visitors every year.
Like Plum Village in France, Deer Park Monastery in California, and Magnolia Grove Monastery in Mississippi, Blue Cliff’s doors are open throughout the year for people of all backgrounds, ages, faiths, and no-faith to practice mindfulness. Visitors follow the monastics’ daily schedule of walking, eating, sitting, and working mindfully. They learn to practice mindful speech and deep listening, and benefit from deep relaxation meditation. As they become familiar with the mindfulness tools offered by the community, adults and children alike learn that it is possible to transform their suffering and awaken to the joys of the present moment.
Throughout the year, Blue Cliff and its sister monasteries offer special retreats as well as general stays and days of mindfulness (most Thursdays and Sundays) for those interested in learning how to stop, look deeply, and enjoy the wonders of life within us and around us. www.bluecliffmonastery.org
About ABC Home
An iconic NYC destination, ABC Carpet & Home offers choice at the cutting edge of art, sustainability, and design. Through the preservation of indigenous artisanship, working with global cooperatives, and a commitment to environmental consciousness, ABC aims to be a catalyst in creating home as an expression of vision and values. Our collaboration with Thich Nhat Hanh, which will bring the message of mindfulness into the heart of the city, expresses our core ethos of using beauty as a tool for positive change allowing the urban community to access this profound wisdom and tap into interconnectivity. read more…
Amplifying mindful living with Thich Nhat Hanh’s calligraphies at ABC Home
A Note by Paulette Cole, CEO, ABC Home
Thich Nhat Hanh truly embodies mindfulness – to be in his presence is an invitation to be present. For me, his teachings demystify the path of enlightenment and awareness. To witness his wisdom is not to read a map telling one how to go, it is to be there – here and now – to exist in mindfulness.
ABC is deeply honored to take part in this sacred and very special exhibit. For us, home is a mirror – a reflection of self. The mindful art of Thich Nhat Hanh brings that moment of self-awareness, that connection, into the home and into the everyday practice, whether as a reminder, a guide, a message, or a mirror.
In my own home, I have welcomed the message Open mind, Open Heart, a daily reminder to shift my perspective and that to expand my mind is to expand my heart. At my altar, I have placed Breathe, for when I forget to and am holding on to chaos. I absorb the message in stillness – taking it in and letting it go.
Truly resonating with ABC is No mud, No lotus – such a simple archetype, which can affect the collective spirit. Its message, for us, is an affirmation to continue peacefully on our path. It is a metaphor for our commitment to this vital work and in all that we do, wherein the heavy lifting manifests magic. It is the shadow that supports the light.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s work is purity, clarity, and beauty in one form. It sparks an awakening. We feel at the core of our ethos aligned with these inspirational composures, where through beauty, participants are inspired to connect to mindfulness. It is a privilege to amplify the messages of this Zen Master and gifted teacher to create ripples of awareness, opening the doors for others to explore this practice.
To sit with Thich Nhat Hanh, to engage with his work, is to breathe. It is experiential Buddhism, guiding us all to guide ourselves, together.