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General News · 12th September 2009
ruth ozeki
Ayami Stryck, a wonderful fibre artist and Japanese calligrapher, and Ruth Ozeki will be offering a Heart Sutra Brush Meditation study group, which will meet once a week (or once every two weeks?) at the Whaletown Institute. Our first meeting will be Tuesday, September 22, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. We'll discuss future scheduling at that time.

In Japan, shakyo, or sutra copying, is a venerable Buddhist and spiritual practice. The Heart Sutra, a core text in Mahayana Buddhism which explains in a very few words the teachings of emptiness, is often used as an object for this practice.

The two hour study group will start with a short period of sitting meditation and chanting of the Heart Sutra, followed by brush meditation and calligraphy practice. Even if you've never held a brush before, don't worry! Ayami will show us how. This calming and inspiring practice of shakyo helps us integrate the wisdom teachings of the Heart Sutra through body, breath and mind. We will also spend time reading and studying different translations and commentary on the Heart Sutra, from Zen, Tibetan and other traditions of Buddhism. We will work together to compile a full bibliography, with suggestions for on-line talks, for everyone to share, so we can continue our practice and study at home.

There will be no fee for this study group, but we are asking for donations to Ayami, as well as to the Whaletown Institute to help cover the costs of heating and hydro and good green tea!

There's no need to register for this study group, but we'd like to know who might want to come, and if this time slot will work, so please email Ruth at if you're interested, even if you can't make this first meeting.

The Whaletown Institute is located at 506 Whaletown Road. Our website is: