Buddha-nature and the paintbrush

Around 1500 years ago, an Indian monk named Bodhidharma journeyed eastward into China to search for a way to live his understanding of Buddha's teachings. Accomplishments by the "Blue-eyed Barbarian" include founding the martial Shaolin monastery, sitting in front of a wall and meditating for nine years (cutting his own eyelids off in anger after falling asleep, seven years into his intense inward exploration), developing the school of thought now known most famously by its Japanese name of Zen (Ch'an in Chinese, Seon in Korean), and inspiring this monk in present-day Seoul to wield bold and calligraphic brushstrokes in portraiture.

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