Student Sharing

Bop Kyong

After retirement I started taking calligraphy lessons. Lacking patience and a clear mind, I often messed up the strokes or skipped a word by mistake. I would then lose my temper, especially when that was a piece I had wanted to show others. Imagine you’re working on a calligraphy with 50 characters, and you make a mistake with the 48th. That’s frustrating, no?

However, since I started practising Zen, I’ve developed more peace of mind. The pace at which I write has slowed down, and I make fewer mistakes. Even when I do make mistake, I'll smile, take a deep breath, get another piece of paper and start anew. I have learned that throwing a tantrum won’t help. In the end you’ll have to start again whether you throw a tantrum or not. The old piece is now scrap-paper which should just go to the recycle bin.