Tibetan language/Calligraphy A
༄༅༎aspiration prayer of penmanship/calligraphy༎
ཡིག་གཟུགས (yig gzugs; 'Calligraphy')[edit | edit source]
Calligraphy is an art and discipline in the Tibetan tradition for certain practitioners as it is and has been in the Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen traditions. Within the Himalaya certain mantra and textual passages of calligraphy and symbols were prized, worn against the skin as talismans or in hairknots and sacred jewellery for example. There is a history of this disseminated along the silk road for example as the travelling talisman of Dhruva (Sanskrit; English: the Morning Star) found in Dunhuang is testament. The Bardo Thodol (Wylie: bar-do thos-grol; Tibetan: བར་དོ་ཐོས་གྲོལ) first rendered into the English somewhat insensitively as Tibetan Book of the Dead has a section of text about Liberation upon Wearing, wherein the text was to be copied and worn against one's person to aid passage through the bardo. There are also traditions of magic working of the writing of bija for example the bija of འཇམ་དབྱངས་ ('jam dbyangs; Manjughosa) the 'gentle voiced one', the Lord of Speech, upon the tongue of newborns, like what was done to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (Tibetan: དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་; Wylie: dil mgo mkhyen brtse).
People will engage the learning of this course in many ways. We all will be using Tibetan Font input plugins such as TISE in Windows, or M17N 'multilingualization' of SCIM in Ubuntu/Linux, for example as a matter of necessity in this learning initiative given the forum. Some though, may want to extend their foray into traditional calligraphy as a contemplative activity and this is to be encouraged. Calligraphy as a meditative art, spiritual practice and magical invocation is evident in evocations of the Buddhadharma. Fynn (2008) frames the commonplace tools of calligraphy thus:
Tibetan dbu-can [pron: "u-chen"] script is traditionally written using a hand-made bamboo or reed pen cut at an angle. A broad steel nibbed italic calligraphy pen may be used instead. Steel nibbed calligraphic pens designed for left-handed writers of Roman script are slanted at a suitable angle for a right-handed person to use when writing Tibetan dbu-chan script.
To produce the proper thickness of horizontal strokes, the width of the pen nib should be about 1/12th the height of the letter ka.
Please be aware of this w:Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Tibetan) and I will just park this here at the moment because I don't know what to do with it *heheheheheh*.
In theory, Tibetan unicode does away with the need for Wylie transliteration. Wylie was designed to accurately transliterate the actual Tibetan script, and now that we have unicode and computers, we don't need a transliteration system. However, since Wylie transliteration has been the foundation of Tibet scholarship in the West for several decades, I can't argue with purists who consider it a necessary part of each article. I would suggest we keep the Wylie to the main article, and not included in link references from other articles. Thus we would link to the Kagyupa like this:
- Tibetan stroke orders (there are innumerable other Tibetan Language YouTube digital audiovisual uploaded by this publisher... would someone please investigate and capture?)
- Calligraphy paper template It would be appreciated if someone a bit savvy could make our own Calligraphy paper template based upon this that has been developed and then work out how to upload it onto Wikiversity on our tools. Group project!
- "How to Write the Tibetan Script" by Chris Fynn (who contributed to our Textbook)
Notes[edit | edit source]
- If this is a particualar focus of anyone please extend lessons and activites as appropriate.
- Source:  (accessed: Saturday July 25, 2009)