Tibetan Calligraphy


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How to Write the Alphabet and More
By Sanje Elliott
Foreword by Sarah Harding, Naropa University

A detailed and straightforward guide to learning the art of writing the Tibetan script. The goal of this book is to introduce the classical uchen alphabet to Western students of Tibetan and to Tibetans growing up in the West, showing how the flat-edged pen is our equivalent to the reed pen that is the basic beginning tool of Tibetan monks and children.

Unlike Chinese and Japanese characters, which are written with a brush, the forms of Tibetan letters are based on Sanskrit letters which are meant to be written with a pen-like tool. Classical uchen has many similarities to classical roman letters, such as the crisp serif-like forms and the contrasting thicks and thins.

Because Tibetan letters are deeply connected with Tibetan Buddhism, they are imbued with a power that is separate from their function as a phonetic alphabet. This tradition came from India where sacred mantras were written in Sanskrit, and from the ancient Indian practices of tantra and mantra.

Softcover | 89 pages