Mink Brush

Yutang Lin

Arduous to copy Sutras with a deficient brush;
After having tried all brands prayed to Buddha.
Helped by Mani mantra he ran into mink brush;
Soft look and tenacious grips allow free moves.


Mr. & Mrs. Wang of Bei Jing mailed me a couple of brushes that are to be used for Chinese calligraphy. I asked him to tell me more details, and thus I learned of the followings: Once he vowed to copy Sutras, and yet could not find a good brush for such use. For years he tried all kinds of brushes, including many famous brands, but failed to find a suitable brush. So he prayed to Buddha for help. One day, after reciting the Mani mantra for 108 times, he ran into a peddler along a street-an old lady selling miscellaneous items, including some brushes contained in old boxes. She said those were left behind by her late husband and were mink brushes made decades ago. Upon using he found it to be soft on outlook but of tenacious quality so that he could freely move the brush in writing without having to worry about distorting the shape of the brush. Hence he treasured it and took tender loving care of it. Now they are sparing a couple of those brushes to share the pleasure with me, with the wish that the brushes would facilitate my writing of more Dharma works. In appreciation of their sincere great wish I composed this poem to commemorate the event.

Written in Chinese on April 24, 2003
Translated on April 25, 2003
El Cerrito, California

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