Hand-copying Sutra: Calm, Relax, Meditate
The story of hand-copying Scripture
In ancient times, scriptures were passed on through hand-copying. Other than the religious significance, hand-copying scripture encourages us to reflect upon the wisdom of the Buddha and to calm the body and mind. In addition, calligraphy is one of the traditional Chinese art; practicing calligraphy is advantageous to self-cultivation and understanding morality.

Hand-copying Heart Sutra
Among the many Buddhist scriptures, the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya Heart Sutra is the most well-known. The famous saying of "All reality is a phantom, and all phantoms are real" originates from Heart Sutra. From ancient times until now, hand-copying Heart Sutra is a common practice; even the Qing Emporers, Kangxi and Qianlong, had the habit of hand-copying Heart Sutra.

Hand-copying Scripture and the plague
It was believed that 1200 years ago, in the Spring of Kōnin 9 (818 A.D.), a serious plague swept across Japan, causing a significant decrease in the national population. To call down a blessing and pray to end the plague, the eminent monk Kukai suggested Emperor Saga to transcribe Sutra by hand - in gold letters on a special blue paper, and worship on bended knees in every letter that he writes. After the Emperor transcribed Heart Sutra, his wishes came true and the plague ended gradually. The manuscript of Heart Sutra by Emperor Saga is now stored in the Daikakuji temple in Kyoto - only displayed to the public every sixty years.
Bach is Heart Sutra:
Walking Meditation | Hand-copying Sutra Experience

As modern citizens often use the computer at work, there is less and less chance for us to write by hand. In May, Zuni's Bach is Heart Sutra is setting up the Walking Meditation Installation at the Studio Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. A hand-copying Sutra session will be arranged to cleanse the soul of modern days; under the music by Bach, let us face our truest self and gain wisdom.

Mathias Woo Arts Tech Theatre InstallationBach is Heart Sutra
Immersive Theatre              Walking Meditation
2021.4.23-24 (Fri-Sat)                2021.5.8-15 (Sat-Sat)
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre    Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

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