Ichi, one, this is the basic stroke in Zen Calligraphy
a work in progress
I would like to talk a bit about what I call a Nalanda View of the Shambhala Teachings which is the philosophical underpinning of a lot of what I have learned and have taught over the years of studying in Shambhala. One of my main mentors in Kyudo, Lucy Halverson, studies in a Zen school. It is an axiom of her school that every student must study a martial art and a fine art. Chogyam Trungpa dictated that every student of Shambhala should study what he called a Shambhala Art. Politics has mandated a change in name to this activity, which is now referred to as Contemplative Art, but which also includes such things as swordsmanship, Zen Archery, etc. A proper list would be hard to provide but one possibly arranged as a Samurai might arrange it in terms of importance might be something like:
Dressage, Kyudo, Kendo, Calligraphy, Japanese Tea Ceremony, Flower Arranging, Akido, Tai Chi Chuan, Painting, and others. Part of the idea is that it is a training in the Synchronization of body and mind. Traditional training with a Japanese teacher, Samurai, or other highly trained individual, who himself embodies these truths is the kind of training which is wanting often. Many students ignored this stricture and many took it to heart. It is a bit of a secret and a conundrum among the Tibetan community as to why Western students generally do not develop normally as Tibetan students do. If you give certain practices to a Tibetan student, as he accomplishes the practices, there are certain signs that are expected, such as dreams or visions or other signs of development. The teachers use these signs to further advise and coach the student. Largely, western students go along but have few signs and little evidence of normal accomplishment. I think this is related to the mind-body split so evident in Western culture. I think Trungpa Rinpoche was trying to address this issue by introducing the Contemplative Arts or what I like to call the Nalanda Arts.