Thich Nhat Hanh is best known as a Buddhist teacher, but his skills as an artist were on display this weekend in Bangkok.
An exhibit of his calligraphy is on display there this month, and he gave a demonstration of his artistic process, mixing tea with Chinese ink and using a brush to create circles and simple English statements like “Breathe and smile,” and “This is it.”
“My calligraphy contains mindfulness and tea,” he said.
Thay, as he’s affectionately known, started creating calligraphy in 1994. Since then, it’s estimated that he’s completed 10,000 pieces of calligraphy, many of which have been sold as fundraisers for Thay’s many humanitarian projects around the world.
After demonstrating his process, Thay encouraged his visitors to remain silent and present as they toured the exhibition. “Half an hour spent in the exhibition hall is half an hour of meditation,” he explained. “You can come out of the exhibition hall as a new person.”
Below is a video from the Bangkok exhibition.