I was lucky that my stepping into the door of art in calligraphy and painting began after I had some experience of Chan — Buddhist practice of meditation and cultivation.
Art is an expression of beauty, involving the functions of smell, sight, hearing, etc., that make the sense faculties pleasant. It even has the function of harmonizing the mind and body.
Regardless of the form of art, in enjoying and appreciating artworks, the mind becomes peaceful, subtle, and at ease. Going on from there, the cultivation of mind also brings forth the quality of purity and nobility deep from within.
This transformation from outer beauty to the wholesome quality of inner being is the process of practice.
And finally, one may experience the state of Chan, thus entering the domain of true reality. This is how art becomes the course of enlightenment, and true beauty and immaculacy of human beings is realized.
In this process, the realization of Chan or enlightenment is not easy, and the rest is just a matter of techniques.
Chan is a state of inner attainment. Lacking such substances but merely wearing a hat of “Chan” is rather dangerous.
Hence, cultivation of the mind is extremely important.
(From an interview of Master Chi Chern by Cuigu Xu, published on [Humanity] magazine, No. 396)
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