On June 29th, SFYAD attended a talk by Venerable Ru Chang on “Compassion in Action”: Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s one stroke calligraphy before and after post-surgery works.” Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s one-stroke calligraphy works, which are completed without lifting the calligraphy brush off of the paper are revered throughout Fo Guang Shan for their simplicity, beauty, and kindness. These calligraphy works are on display at Fo Guang Shan branches throughout the world. Venerable Ru Chang, who is the director of FGS Buddha Museum, discussed the history of Chinese Buddhist calligraphy, Master Hsing Yun's unique one stroke calligraphy practice, and the process of exhibiting his works at museums worldwide.
Venerable Ru Chang illustrated the intent and design of calligraphyby by analyzing images of calligraphy, and showed the audience the process of museum curation. The large audience was awed when she described the difficulties of bringing the One-Stoke Calligraphy exhibition to China and designing the FGS Buddha Museum. Each anecdote that Venerable Ru Chang had about her collaboration with Venerable Master Hsing Yun exemplified Venerable Master’s determination, empathy , and wisdom, and her tenacity and compassion. Her speech was heartfelt and engaging, and thoroughly communicated the intentions behind the aesthetics of one-stroke-calligraphy and the FGS Buddha Museum.
As Humanistic Buddhists, we must be mindful of how others may benefit from our work as well as continue to challenge ourselves to put our body and mind in cultivation. The ancient calligraphy that Venerable Ru Chang showed portray a wish for Buddhism to be maintained and propagated, while modern one-stroke calligraphy exhibitions are curated with the intent of helping others and spreading the Dharma. Venerable Ru Chang’s lecture on Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s calligraphy reminded us of the importance of compassion in cultivation, and encouraged us to look inward to discover what we can do as individuals for Buddhism.