A Garland of Letters

Tibetan Calligraphy Course in London

Photo by Ann Bancroft

Photo by Ann Bancroft

Over the weekend of December 12-13, 2015, Lekdanling, the new London centre, was proud to host a Tibetan Calligraphy course with renowned calligrapher Tashi Mannox. Tashi started by talking about the history of Tibetan script and how children approach learning to write in Tibetan.

He explained that there is a sacred significance to the proportion of each letter and showed us how to construct a grid on the basis of the size of the nib of the pen you are using in order to maintain these proportions.

During the first day of the course we focused mainly on how to write the 30 letters of the Tibetan alphabet and the 4 vowels, as well as learning the correct order for the direction of the strokes.

Om Mani Padme Hum. Photo by Lilly Kollnberger

Om Mani Padme Hum. Photo by Lilly Kollnberger

On the second day we learned the rules for writing sub-joined letters and dedicated the afternoon to writing the Om A Hum mantra and the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra. This part of the course was also really interesting because besides explaining the technical aspects of Tibetan calligraphy and the correction of common mistakes, which on its own was fascinating, Tashi also briefly explained about visualization and symbolic meaning of recitation of these mantras.

Tashi Mannox. Photo by Ann Bancroft

Tashi Mannox. Photo by Ann Bancroft

It was a great experience to take part in this course and have the opportunity to work so closely with Tashi Mannox, such a highly recognized calligrapher and artist.

This course also enabled me to meet a variety of people who are interested in Tibetan culture amongst whom Paul Antonio, a London based calligrapher, who kindly brought in some turkey feathers and demonstrated how to cut a quill.

Lilly 2

In the future we really hope to have some follow up calligraphy practice classes in London so that we will be able to improve our skills. Many thanks to Shang Shung Institute UK for providing this wonderful opportunity and again to Tashi Mannox for sharing his time and knowledge with us.

Lilly Kollnberger

Tashi and Lilly

Tashi and Lilly