Alok Hsu Kwang-han: A Brush with Emptiness at 1440 Multiversity

Expand your sense of self with spiritual teacher Adyashanti at The Courage to Be, November 9-11.


A Brush with Emptiness

Zen Creativity and the Art of Life

December 2 - 7, 2018

Sunday - Friday, 5 nights

$635 Tuition

Plus 5 nights all-inclusive accommodations priced separately

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Program Description

Have you always wanted to learn calligraphy? Open your eyes to Zen as art and art as Zen. Master calligraphic painter Alok Hsu Kwang-han will show you the way. Each morning begins with an hour-long meditation combining movement with stillness. You will begin to savor “resting in presence and moving from emptiness,” Alok’s “method-less method” of Zen creativity, integral to our own healing and awakening. In a simple energy ceremony, Alok will present to you three brushes he designed. You will learn to:

  • Hold them as friends and move with them in harmony
  • Rest in the spaciousness of your being
  • Be intimate with “not-knowing” and allow your brush to dance along the xuan paper from emptiness.

Being comfortable with “not-knowing,” you become available to tap into your intelligence, creativity, and good humor. You may be asked to paint your heart’s desire, the sound of silence, or a Zen koan.

We will paint with the mindset of being “present, available, and playful” and learn together by sharing our paintings. You will come to realize you are the art, and the “Little Me” that has taken up so much energy and space is no longer necessary. No previous experience with Zen or painting is necessary, even if you are an expert painter.

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  • Faculty Bio
    Alok Hsu Kwang-han

    Master calligraphic painter and Zen teacher

    Alok Hsu Kwang-han is a Zen calligraphic painter from China whose work is a confluence of the beauty of Chinese calligraphy, the spontaneity and depth of Zen, and the evolution of healing in Western psychotherapy. An artist with a diverse background, he came to America in 1950 as an 11-year-old refugee from the civil war in China.

    He earned academic degrees in mathematics, Christian theology, sociology, and psychology of religion. He has taught sociology of religion and psychology of transcendence, and, in China, has translated and published 20 books on meditation. He has made 20 journeys to India to explore and incorporate the sources of Eastern spiritual practices into his art.

    Alok has exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum, the Swedish National Museum of Ethnography, the Great Hall of Exhibition in Shanghai, and the Water Harp Temple and Garden in Pune, India. At his home studio in Sedona, Arizona, he teaches individual immersion tutorial retreats for experienced artists. He is the subject of the feature documentary Moving from Emptiness: The Life and Art of a Zen Dude..

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  • Why Attend
    • You have always wanted to study Zen and calligraphy with a master teacher.

    • Ignite your creativity and shift your attitude to a curious, playful beginner's mindset.

    • Understand the basics of Zen teaching through the eyes of a painter.

  • Things to Know/Schedule

    Program Schedule

    Below is your daily schedule for your stay during your program. You will always be able to attend the meals and activities shown between your program sessions. You will also have opportunities to experience Healing Arts, walking trails, and many other campus amenities throughout your stay. To schedule a treatment at Healing Arts call 844-544-1440, ext. 304 or email [email protected]Click here to view our current menu: 

    Opening Day

    2:15 pm

    Check-in begins; rooms are ready by 4:00 pm

    Luggage storage is available

    4:45 – 5:45 pm Supplementary Classes: Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, or Meditation

    5:30 – 7:00 pm Dinner at Kitchen Table

    6:45 – 7:15 pm 1440 Guest Welcome Session (optional)

    7:30 – 9:00 pm Program Session


    6:45am – 8 am

    Meditation with Alok

    7:00am – 9:00 am Breakfast at Kitchen Table

    Breakfast at Kitchen

    9am – 12 pm Morning Program Session

    12pm-2 pm Lunch at Kitchen

    2pm – 4:30 pm Afternoon Program Session

    4:45 – 5:45 pm Supplementary Classes: Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, or Meditation

    5:30 – 7:30 pm Dinner at Kitchen Table

    7:30 – 9:00 pm Optional Events or Program SessionClosing Day

    6:45am – 7:45 am

    Supplementary Classes: Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, or Meditation

    7:00am – 9 am

    Breakfast at Kitchen Table

    9am – 11:00 am

    Morning Program Session

    12:00pm NOON Checkout Time

    11:30am – 1:30 pm Lunch at Kitchen Table—

    Departure day lunch is included in your stay.


    View the documentary, Moving from Emptiness: The Life and Art of a Zen Dude, by Jerry Hartleben & Shaeri Richards

    Experience level

    None required.

  • About 1440 Multiversity

    Beautifully nestled in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz, our 75-acre campus is within easy reach of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

    1440 Multiversity is a place to spend time engaging some of life's most meaningful personal questions and to enjoy, restore, and reenergize yourself as you do it.

    You'll find new energy through immersion learning—setting aside daily urgencies and dedicating uninterrupted time to focus on important, but often elusive, priorities. Our unique collaboration with world-class faculty coupled with an original, inspirational curriculum and magnificent grounds make this a place like no other. Add in fresh, redwood-scented air, delicious and healthy food, deep reflection, fun exercise, and good sleep and you've pretty much captured what you'll experience here.

  • Accommodations

    At 1440 Multiversity, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to meet your preferences and budget. All of our rooms have been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, promote reflection, and foster connection with others.

    Accommodation rates include more than just the bed you sleep in.

    Per-person per-night rates include:

    • nourishing locally sourced, seasonal meals
    • daily meditation and yoga classes
    • non-ticketed evening events
    • use of all facilities, including the Fitness Center, steam rooms, and infinity-edge hot tub.

    Guests also enjoy access to woodland trails, cafés, and shops.

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