August is Art Appreciation Month, the perfect time to nurture the humanities and take some time to embrace the beauty of creativity. Ilchi Lee may be best known as the founder of Dahn Yoga and as The New York Times bestselling author, but he's also an artist, putting his brush to paper to give life to characters through the ancient art of calligraphy.
As with other forms of artwork, calligraphy is less about communicating words to the public and more so about expressing emotions, energy and life within. As Ilchi Lee notes in his blog, each character he creates contains the character of the moment in which it was written, reflecting the sun coming in through the window or the breeze that blows as he sweeps the brush across the paper.
"As I look at the calligraphy, I think, we can only experience this present moment," Lee wrote. "Each moment is fleeting, and too precious to waste."
Many people believe that you cannot truly create art if you have not gone out and experienced the world – traveling around the globe, making mistakes and reflecting on those mistakes. While certainly these factors have led to some truly intriguing pieces of art, there's something to be said about putting the past, future and faraway places out of your mind and, instead, letting the current moment guide you in your creative endeavors. This notion is backed up by one of the most important ancient texts in history, the Chun Bu Kyung. The Korean text was a major factor in the forming of Ilchi Lee's principles and art, giving insight into the origin of existence and humanity's place in the universe.
"Awareness of the present moment makes every moment a new beginning, a new opportunity," the Chun Bu Kyung states. "Nothing from the past can ruin the newness and sanctity of this moment."
During Art Appreciation Month, take some time to consider these inspiring quotes from Ilchi Lee and the Chun Bu Kyung. Let mindfulness take hold, focus on the current moment and create something that expresses your inner self. You may find a whole new appreciation for art, creative process and living in the moment.