The year of the Ox + KAKIZOME

Happy New Year of the Ox 2021!
I hope you all had a relaxing holiday!

Ox in Gyosho

My year has started with the Kakizome event on the 2nd. Jan.
Thank you to everyone who attended the event.
It was great fun!
And I was very happy to see you all and share the Kakizome experience together.

A few days later, I did the ‘Kakizome on snow’ with my daughter!
I share some snaps with you too!
ARIGATO.

ABOUT KAKIZOME
The New Year’s Calligraphy called “Kakizome 書き初め” in Japanese. It is translated to the first calligraphy of the year, literally means ‘first writing’. That’s when the new zodiac character, one year’s aspirations, auspicious words in Kanji characters and the individual wishes, resolutions, theme for the new year are Calligraphy-ied at the beginning of the year on the 2nd of January.
KAKI 書き: writing, to write
ZOIME初め: first, to start, the beginning

Origin of Kakizome
The original “Kakizome” was celebrated as a court event since the Heian period. (794-1185) It was then called „Kisshohajime吉書始め“ which literally means first auspicious writing. The process of ceremony began from creating dissolving Sumi ink with using the WAKAMIZU 若水 the first sacred water drawn from the well in the morning on the first day of the year.
Then the celebrations and poems were written facing a fortune direction of the year (where the god of that year was supposed to be). This custom kept alive for the next several hundred years and it widely spread and became popular among common people in the Edo period after the temple school houses (寺小屋)were established. In the Meiji period, the Kakizome was introduced also in schools. The process of Kakizome has changed and a different way was adapted from the one at the court in the Heian era.

Ox in Kaisho

Purpose of Kakizome custom
Traditionally there are three points why Kakizome was celebrated.

1.Transforming one’s wishes, goals, aspirations into hand-written words

and intending to achieve these aspirations by calligraphy-ing on paper at the beginning of the year.

2.Showing the gratefulness and joy

3.Dedicating the calligraphy to the gods so one’s calligraphy skill could be improved

The Kakizome calligraphy works are burned at the ‘Dondo-Yaki’ festival,
which is a traditional event in Japan held around January 15th. People build a tower with green bamboo, cedar, straw and reeds in an open area such as the grounds of a temple, a riverbed, rice field or other crop field and burn New Year decorations and Kakizome. It is believed that your handwriting skill will improve and you will grow wiser if your Kakizome burns and soars up high into the sky. The higher the paper soot soars up, the better the calligraphy skills become. No worries, you don’t have to burn the calligraphy piece!

The Japanese are vigilant about “firsts“at the beginning of the New Year.
There are lots of “firsts”.
The first sunrise (hatsuhinode), the first visit to the shrine or temple (hatsumoude), and the first dream (hatsuyume), are among the essential “firsts” in Japan.

In addition to Kakizome celebration, I also tend to welcome a new brush and a new Sumi stick at the new year, a day before the Kakizome  day on the 2nd January or on the Kakizome day. The first one is called Fudeoroshi: first use of a new brush and the latter is Sumioroshi : first use of a new Sumi.
I love doing those ceremonial input often at midnight or early morning on the first day of the year. It is such a precious moment – very meditating and mindful.

Picture of the Fudeoroshi from this year
Picture of the Fudeoroshi, soaking the hair parts in the water

Like every year this year could be more than the previous year – I’ve enjoyed the absolute quietness on the first day and I’ve mindfully welcomed my brush, Sumi ink and the year of the ox. Hoping that I will be beautifully able to tame them throughout the year.

Thank you for reading.
Have a good start of the year.

Happy Practice!

Rie

*Here I share some video links with you.
You can see the Ox in different styles below.

Ox in Sosho


Kakizome on snow _ Ox in Hiragana

Kakizome on snow

Video Ox in Kaisho style

Video Ox in Gyosho Style

Video Ox in Sosho sytle


ARIGATO
HAPPY PRACTICE!

©RIE TAKEDA
http://www.shodocalligraphy.com

MA : 間 Pause

Hello – Konnichiwa everyone,
Today I’d like to share one of the essential concept, called ‘MA’.

Ma in light
[
] ま、あいだ、カン、ケン
: Ma, Aida, Kan, Ken
: Pause, while, time, interval, stillness, space, chamber, room, leisure, chance, entr’acte

And ‘Ma’ in three calligraphy styles here↓

Ma Sanshotai in light
Sosho⬅️Gyosho⬅️Kaisho

Ma in action

About MA :
important concept of Japanese art and culture – the inner pause, the fulfilling emptiness, the bonding silence.
MA between/with time, space, humans, body, mind, soul…

In the last months, I’ve been additionally re-filtering and questioning lots more about the
MA– between/with materials, nature, economy, spirit..

Ma Sanshotai in stripes
「間/ま」

日本の武道、芸術、音楽、文化と深い関わりを持つ間/まという要素。

時間の間/ま、空間の間/ま、人との間/ま、体の間/ま、心との間/ま、魂の間/

すべての「間/ま」の程よいバランスが成り立って初めて、私たちは豊かに生きる気と力をもらっているのかもしれない。この数ヶ月、物質、自然、経済、社会、精神の性質との「間/ま」についてあらためて問い、考えさせられる。

Ma Kanwajiten


Happy Practice!
Rie-stamp-web
Arigato, Rie

www.shodocalligraphy.com
2020©︎Rie Takeda

Celebrating Spring, the year of the Rat

 

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Have you done the Zodiac calligraphy yet?!
Or
Are you already moving on to a spring text?!

Here I’d like to post some fantastic zodiac calligraphy works from my students – (both private sessions and workshops in January)
As you might’ve seen 2020 is the year of the rat, started from the 25th.January.


The first calligraphy of the year : KAKIZOME was 子、鼠 / Rat in zodiac and pictographic Kanji accompanied with 世界平和 / World Peace.

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Technically we focused on basics and clear transparent lines.
Another focus I really wanted my students to concentrate on was the deep inner input of mindfulness while we did the text  世界平和 / World Peace.
All practised so beautifully….

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If you are no more beginner, you could practise Sanshotai 鼠.

When you do, please practice these three styles always in a loop circle from the right hand side: Sosho←Gyosho←Kaisho

This is the practice which has a light systematic flow so we can learn not only the different brush movement from Kaisho to Sosho but also the different energy evaluation quite effectively.

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HAPPY PRACTICE!

Rie-stamp-web

Arigato, Rie
www.shodocalligraphy.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kotobuki 寿 long life

Over the last 20+ years, through my exhibitions, events, art projects, courses and workshops, I’ve met so many interesting mindful people in Europe and also Japan.

My pages and SNS have connected me with people all over the world. I’m so grateful to have both sides of artistic skills. Thanks to my two passions – calligraphy and painting. Without them I would not have discovered my own style of art form Neo-Japonism, nor created the unique Painted Poem series.

The poem shown here is a total inspiration-circle of calligraphy/ brush movements synchronised with our ways of life. 

© RIE TAKEDA

ことぶきⅡ
 “ KOTOBUKI – A long joyful life ”

( accompanying poem )
休みなき道
休みなく寿
流れて 飛んで
回って 沈んで
ぬいて はらってとめ 
くるっと上へ 又のぼる
長く ゆっくり のぼってく

A restless journey
A non-stop Kotobuki-life
Flow to fly
Turn to sink
Pull to sweep – and stop –
Circle around to the above and swim up
Long and slow – we are going up again

KOTOBUKI 2010
LIMITED EDITION is available at the moment at the Sway Gallery, London till 18th March

http://london.sway-gallery.com/

70-72 OLD STREET,

LONDON EC1V 9AN

+44 (0)20-7253-5851

Happy Practice!

Arigato,

Rie

Sanshotai 三書体 :紫

Morning calligraphy ( 朝書道 )
– Violet, Purple
– Murasaki, Shi / むらさき、シ
In three calligraphy styles
#sanshotai
Sosho ⬅️Gyosho ⬅️Kaisho

#rietakeda #shodo #japanesecalligraphy #japanischekalligraphie #shodokurs #kalligraphiekurs #calligraphycourse #mindfulnesstraining #achtsamkeitstraining #mindfulcalligraphy #brushmeditations #meditations #kanjilearning #kaisho #gyosho #sosho #zen #calligraphystyles #violet #purple

Happy Practice!

Arigato,

Rie

HISHIRYO 非思量 : non-thinking

KONNICHIWA,
Are you ready to go through some deep thoughts in one of your autumn evenings?!

I’ve been thinking about HISHIRYO: NON-THINKING for a quite while now, especially in conjunction with the essence of Do-Arts ( SHODO, KYUDO, JUDO, SADO, KADO, KARATEDO, AIKIDO….)

I guess when one practises the Do-Art ( in my case I did Kendo, have been practising Shodo for more than 35 years and Sado: Tea ceremony for 8 years) regularly and constantly if not everyday, one gets the nucleus of HISHIRYO. I do not particularly sit and meditate every day for 30 min, not at all – but instead I do meditation while I do calligraphy. “Calligraphy-SHODO” is for me an automatic switch to become meditative, this is my meditation. I do not have to make any effort or try hard to get to that point anymore. Sure, I am not doing Zazen or sitting, but the flow of the mindfulness-process, the flow of movement which I practise every day, creates such a natural comfortable silence. I become one with the moment – and feel through the brush, the ink and then see how the oneness appears on the paper. That is for me the closest understanding of HISHIRYO now.

And I often remember how my calligraphy teacher and my tea master teacher always said ;

” stop thinking, trust your hands and body – don’t worry

they know what to do ”

HISHIRYO 非思量 is found in one of the most essential works called SHOBOGENZO/Fukanzazengi 正法眼蔵/普勧坐禅儀 ( 1231-1253) from the Zen master Dogen-Zenji ( 1200-1253 )

I found this very interesting article which describes HISHIRYO quite clear. See below.

*For German speaking readers, there is an interesting article too by Gert Scobel in the new moment by moment magazine; under the theme” Meditation” ( www.moment-by-moment.de)

*Credit and Copyright:
Originally written in Japanese by Rev. Tairyu Tsunoda ( Komazawa University ), Translated by Rev. Issho Fujita
Assisted by Rev. Tonen O’Connor and Rev. Zuiko Redding
*Links and Materials from Soto Zen Buddhism: sotozen.net

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Calligraphy ” HISHIRYO ” by Rie Takeda

Hishiryo (non-thinking)

Etymology of Hishiryo

Hishiryo (非思量) literally means “non-thinking.”

Shiryo (思量) means “thinking” and hi (非) is a prefix of negation and opposition.

So hishiryo amounts to “unthank” or “not the matter of thinking.” This word hishiryo appears in Dogen Zenji’s Fukanzazengi (although not in his signed manuscript), Shobogenzo Zazengi, Shobogenzo Zazenshin and in Keizan Zenji’s Zazen Yojinki. It is one of the most important words used to describe zazen. Hishiryo in these writings comes from a dialogue between Yakusan Igen (745~828) and an unnamed monk, which is described in Keitoku

Dentoroku and other Zen texts.

Great master, Yakusan Kodo was sitting zazen. A monk asked him, “In steadfast sitting, what are you thinking?” Yakusan said, “Thinking of not-thinking.” A monk said, “How are you thinking of not-thinking?” Yakusan replied, “Non-thinking (hishiryo).”

In answering “hishiryo,” Yakusan is pointing out a realm beyond discriminative thinking, a realm of being one with not-thinking, which is the original person, or true person. This dialogue is meant to signify that zazen is the practice of being one with the original person, the person we originally are.

In the Zen tradition the word hishiryo is also found in a much earlier text, the Third Sosan’s Shinjinmei.

The empty enlightenment illuminates itself.
There is no need for the slightest mental effort.
It is a realm of non-thinking,
A realm beyond the apprehension of reasoning and emotions.

In this context, hishiryo is explained as a realm beyond the ability of reasoning and emotions to grasp. Later, this word was used in this more developed way. For example, in Unmon Koroku (Unmon’s Extensive Record) we find this dialogue below.

A monk asked, “What is a realm of non-thinking like?” Unmon said, “Beyond apprehension of reasoning and emotions.”

The meaning of hishiryo in Soto Zen

In both Fukanzazengi and Zazen Yojinki, hishiryo was introduced right after an instruction on zazen posture that uses the expression, “steadfast sitting.” Therefore, hishiryo can be understood as

a description of the state the mind should be in once zazen posture has been properly established. As for this state of mind in zazen, we find these instructions:

*In Fukan Zazengi
Do not think “good” or “bad.” Do not judge true or false. Give up the operation of mind, intellect, and consciousness; stop measuring with thoughts, ideas, and views. Have no designs on becoming a Buddha. How could it be limited to sitting or lying down?

*In Zazen Yojinki
Drop mind, intellect and consciousness, leave thoughts, ideas, and views alone. Have no designs on becoming a Buddha. Do not judge true or false.
If you want to cease your confusion, you must cease involvement in thoughts of good or bad.Stop getting caught up in unnecessary affairs. A mind “unoccupied” together with a body “free of activity” is the essential point to remember.

I think the key to understanding the meaning of hishiryo is found in these teachings.

It is said that when we practice zazen we stop all kinds of thinking, such as true or false, right or wrong and let go of all thoughts and calculations. With this attitude, we just sit. This is the instruction given by Dogen Zenji and Keizan Zenji. And that is what hishiryo is all about.

Hishiryo is not a state of no-thoughts

To stop “the operation of mind, intellect, and consciousness” and to stop “measuring with thoughts, ideas, and views” does not mean to totally stop all mental activities. To stop “operation” and “measuring” means stopping arbitrary thought and calculations, rather than maintaining a state of having no thoughts during zazen. The idea of having no thoughts is itself an arbitrary thought. It is not that a special state of mind results from regulating the mind through zazen. Rather than having a special state of mind, zazen is not to have a special state of mind.

For example, we find this passage in Shobogenzo Zazenshin:

A monk asked, “How are you thinking of not-thinking?” Indeed, though the notion of not-thinking may be old, here it is the question, how do you think of it? Could there be no thinking in sitting fixedly? … When we think of not-thinking, we always use non-thinking.

When we sit in zazen, it is not that we have no thoughts but we think of “not-thinking.” It is called “how do you think of it” and “non-thinking.”

In zazen we just sit by regulating the body (posture) and regulating the breath. As for the posture, we aim at sitting in the way that is described in Fukanzazengi and Zazen Yojinki. This posture naturally regulates the breath. Then, we just let the breath happen as is described in Zazen Yojinki; breath freely passes through the nose, and naturally gets regulated. Hishiryo is the state of our mind when we are sitting in this way. But what kind of state of mind is it?

When a thought arises, be aware of it. When you are aware of it, it will disappear

In the Tenpuku version of Fukan Zazengi (Dogen Zenji’s signed manuscript), we do not see the sentences, “Think of not-thinking. How do you think of it? Non-thinking.” Instead there are these sentences: “When a thought arises, be aware of it. When you are aware of it, it will disappear. Continuously put aside everything outside and make yourself into one piece.” It is taught as “the essential art of zazen.” In other words, in the popular version, “When a thought arises, be aware of it. When you are aware of it, it will disappear. Continuously put aside everything outside and make yourself into one piece” was deleted and “Think of not-thinking. What kind of thinking is that? Non-thinking” was inserted. Even if this substitution was made by Dogen Zenji himself, it is still important to know that the instruction “When a thought arises, be aware of it. When you are aware of it, it will disappear. Continuously put aside everything outside and make yourself into one piece” appeared in the signed version, because this expression helps us understand hishiryo.

This expression is a description of our state of mind during zazen. When a thought arises during zazen and we become aware of it, it disappears by itself. And when another thought arises, we again become aware of it and it disappears. If we maintain this process, we naturally put aside everything outside and become one with ourselves. This is exactly the state of mind during zazen and the content of hishiryo.

Hishiryo is not to attain a transcendental state of mind through meditation or to enter a state of no thoughts and no images. It is not to remain in a state full of defilements and delusions or to keep discriminative thinking, either. This is what Dogen Zenji meant when he used the word hishiryo. This concept was steadfastly handed down to Keizan Zenji’s Zazen Yojinki. Thus, in the Soto Zen tradition we now emphasize hishiryo as a state of mind during zazen.

*Credit and Copyright:
Originally written in Japanese by Rev. Tairyu Tsunoda, Translated by Rev. Issho Fujita
Assisted by Rev. Tonen O’Connor and Rev. Zuiko Redding

*Links and Materials from Soto Zen Buddhism: sotozen.net

Happy Practice!

Arigato,
Rie
rie-stamp-web.jpg

“Meditation” with the moment by moment magazine

The New Autumn issue of “moment by moment” magazine is out now!

The theme is – Meditation-

I did the calligraphy piece for ” HISHIRYO / non-thinking ”

– the article by Gert Scobel.

( And the logo for the magazine cover )

I would like to post more about

” HISHIRYO 非思量” later this week!

@momentbymoment.magazin

#dalailama #shunryusuzuki #gertscobel

#momentbymoment #achtsamkeit #mindfulness #meditation #hishiryo #zen #dogen #buddism #beginnersmind #rietakeda #japanesecalligraphy

#richarddavidson #matthieuricard#nichtdenken

Happy Practice!

Arigato,

Rie

Ikigai 生き甲斐

📮This beautiful interesting book is published now!

Congratulations!

I enjoyed working on the cover and the calligraphy pieces.

Highly recommended!

本日英国カイリブックス出版より” 生き甲斐 IKIGAI “という素敵な本が出版されました。カバーの絵と書、インデックスの書等させていただきました。とても興味深い本です、ぜひ手に取って読んでみてください。日本語の”IKIGAI”という言葉がそのまま世界で使われるようになる日も近いかもしれませんね。

” IKIGAI “- giving every day meaning and joy

by Yukari Mitsuhashi

‘The word ikigai is formed of two Japanese characters: iki, meaning life, and gai, meaning value or worth. Ikigai, then, is the value of life, or happiness in life. Put simply, it’s the reason you get up in the morning.’

@yukari77 @kylebooksuk

Photo by @taraosullivan1

#ikigai #publicationday #giveaway #competition #win #prize #bookgiveaway #kylebooks #hachette #octopus

#yukarimitsuhashi

#kylebooksuk

Happy Practice!

Rie

Kokoro, Heart and Herz

I am in it!!

New issue of “ moment by moment” magazine.

The theme is “ heart “.

Thank you to the mindful team of the moment by moment magazine for working together!!

The issue is available in Kiosk and book shops in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

モーメントバイモーメントの最新号に嬉しくも私の書道メソッドなどを取り上げていただきました。

この号のテーマは“心、Herz, Heart”

編集、写真、グラフィック、オーガナイズに関わりサポートしてくれた皆さんに感謝です!

キオスクや本屋さんで購入可能です。

*https://www.facebook.com/momentbymoment.magazin/

*moment by moment Ausgabe4/2018

http://www.moment-by-moment.de

Happy Practice!

Rie

Sanshotai : 訪 To Visit

Hello everyone,

Hope you are enjoying the Easter season.

Here is another Sanshotai snap from this morning.

Have you seen the cherry blossom yet?!

Kanji: 訪

– To Visit

– Otozu_retu, Tazu_neru, Hou

In Sanshotai three calligraphy styles

Sosho ⬅️Gyosho ⬅️Kaisho

-Etymology

: 言/ Word, to say, to speak

: 方/ wide, four directions

訪 ; initially meant ‘ asking widely in order to follow a line of inquiry ‘ which involved ‘ visiting many people ‘ and – now ‘ to visit ‘ is a major meaning. It rarely means ‘ to inquire ‘ nowadays.

-Radical :言

Happy Practice‼︎

ARIGATO,

Rie

Sanshotai : To rise

Another Sanshotai (three calligraphy styles) from my morning calligraphy routine. Lately my choice of Kanji is very much inspired by the beautiful Autumn colours and the atmosphere…

– Shou,  Nobo-ru

– To rise

In Sandhotai

You can see the development from the right hand side.

Sosho ⬅  Gyosho ⬅ Kaisho

Link to my Instagram 

Happy Practice!

Arigato,  

Rie

www.shodocalligraphy.com

www.shodokalligraphie.com

Sanshotai “Lake”

Here is another Sanshotai (three calligraphy styles) from my morning calligraphy routine.

Kanji “湖”

– Mizuumi, Ko

– Lake

Sosho  ⬅ Gyosho  ⬅ Kaisho

The image is from my Instagram account; https://www.instagram.com/p/BV7AnaTHW_7/

 I found this beautiful vintage Kimono fabric from my grandmother’s Kimono box.  A little fresh breeze for your hot day.

Happy Practice!

Rie

www.shodocalligraphy.com