The scroll hanging in the BZC zendo during Rohatsu was created by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. It is carefully stored in the Founders’ Altar and is used in the Founders’ Ceremony each month.
Suzuki Roshi calligraphed the names of the three Zen founders: Shakyamuni Buddha (in the middle), Bodhidharma (on the right), and Dogen Zenji (on the left). It is believed that he created these scrolls for the Zen satellite sitting groups associated with San Francisco Zen Center in the late 1960s—Kannon Do Zen Center in Mountain View, Genjo-ji Zen Center in Sonoma, and Berkeley Zen Center. Ross Blum adds his memory of the scroll: “When I arrived here in 1987, the scroll was in a paper box loosely rolling around inside. On my request, Belinda Sweet, who gifted many other scrolls to BZC, special-ordered a fitted box from Japan for this scroll. When this beautiful box arrived, she demonstrated the traditional way of wrapping the ribbon around the scroll, making a butterfly knot to securely place it inside the box.”
Here are two quotes from Zen Mind. Beginner’s Mind that express the spirit of Zen calligraphy:
“Not trying to make something skillful or beautiful, but simply writing with full attention, as if you were discovering what you were writing for the first time; then your full nature will be in your writing. This is the way of practice, moment after moment.”
“When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”