Wednesday 14 December 2011

Commissioned Ink - Bodhidharma

One of a series of commissioned pieces based upon the theme of Buddhism. This is Bodhidharma, a monk of the 5th to 6th century who travelled from southern India to China bringing the word and also (from what shamefully little I know) kicked a lot of arse! The description was exact and there are a lot of other renditions of him to be found, but this is mine.
Shown with the kind permission of Hans Stucken (with whom all rights remain).   


  1. I can't actually think of a good enough adjective. I can see this on the wall of a Temple.

  2. Very kind of you. The one before this is much better, though it took a lot longer. Can't show that yet though, nyah!

  3. Hello Jerry, Bodhidharma is/was the legendary founder of Zen Buddhism who didn't really give a flying squirrel about worldly power and his looks etc.
    He was known for being an incredibly dedicated meditator who liked to cut straight to the heart of things. More than a thousand years after his first appearance, stories began to spread that he also introduced Kung-Fu to Shaolin temple. That story got really popular only in the last 150 years or so and has next to no connection to his actual Buddhist heritage...but you can find loads of western Kung-Fu practitioners who know next to nothing about Buddhist history, but would swear on their mother's grave that he did in fact invent Kung-Fu.

    Here are four verses attributed to him that point to the core of Zen:

    "A special transmission outside the scriptures,
    Not founded upon words and letters;
    By pointing directly to [one's] mind
    It lets one see into [one's own true] nature and [thus] attain Buddhahood."