Today is 108 days to the first anniversary of 108 Zen Books.  It occurs to me that we tend to wait in anticipation of a celebration rather than beginning the festivities just where we are.  So, here’s a commitment and an invitation.

I am committed to a brush painting a day (small, medium or large) of the Kanji character for Buddha.  Brush paintings of a Kanji character are fascinating in how they evolve depending on script, style, mood, brush and ink.  The formal character is sculpted but the scripts (clerical, running, grass) produce an endless variety.  One of my teachers converted the Roman alphabet into brush strokes on the theory that Japanese artists had less trouble than Westerners in handling the brush for art because they first learned how to wield the brush through writing Kanji.  And, in fact, many strokes in a painting are modifications of the Kanji script for the object being drawn.  All that to say, I am fascinated to see what will evolve as I play with the character of Buddha over the next 108 days – literally and figuratively.

I invite you to find something you can commit to on a daily basis for the next 108 days.  See what evolves.  It can be anything:

recycling one thing you might not usually
planting a seed (literally or figuratively)

drawing a picture
taking a picture of one thing or many things
donating a dollar
building a lexicon of compassion one word a day
smiling with intention
sitting zazen (it’s been blogged)
doing one prostration
doing one move of the 108 tai chi moves
writing one letter or sending a card to a prison inmate, someone who is dying, sad, alone
making peace with each person, thought, or feeling

Go wild!

Each day


108 days!

Here’s my first Buddha:

Thank you for joining in,


PS: I have no idea what I will do with 108 brush paintings of Buddha so if anyone has ideas, let me know!

6 thoughts on “invite108

  1. Perhaps you could just see what evolves as you paint – just like you let the brush speak, let the finished paintings tell you where they want to go… Am looking forward to 108 of them! These “characters” just fascinate me for some reason – their simplicity and fluidity… Thank you for sharing them with all of us! ~*~

  2. Great ideas and commitments, Everyone!

    Emily, I checked out the made4aid site and it looks promising. Zen Mountain Monastery uses the practice sheets for wrapping and padding the merchandise they mail from their online store. I could send mine off as wrapping paper! 🙂

  3. This invitation does appeal to me. It is such good practice to do things over and over for a variety of reasons. I did 100 days of Dharma when I first started blogging and 30 days of art last summer. What will I do now, hmmm? I need to ponder that one.

    It will be fun to see the many faces of Buddha over 108 days. I’m looking forward to this.

    • Me too! I realized tonight that I will have to constrain myself to the principle of the enso and kyudo… issha zetsume …one stroke, one life. The first Buddha gets counted; the remaining 14 go into the practice paper bin! 😦

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