Join us for our limited time Discovery Weekends


A Brush With Emptiness

Zen Creativity and the Art of Life

December 17 - 22, 2017

Sunday - Friday, 5 nights

$635 Tuition

Plus 5 nights all-inclusive accommodations priced separately

Registration Closed

Program Description

Open your eyes to Zen as art and art as Zen. Master calligraphic painter Alok Hsu Kwang-han will show you the way to rest in the spaciousness of your being, be intimate with the potential in “not-knowing,” and allow your brush to dance along the canvas from emptiness to create beautiful calligraphic images.

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. As 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.

You will paint with the mindset of being present, available, and playful and learn together by sharing your 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. Beginner’s mind is required!

For More about Alok Hsu Kwang-han


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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..

    View Bio Page
  • Why Attend
    • Study Zen and calligraphy with a master teacher who has exhibited his art internationally.<br /> <br />  

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

    • Understand the basics of Zen teaching through the eyes of an artist and the practice of creativity.

  • Things to Know/Schedule

    Program Schedule

    Download a sample schedule.


    View the documentary Moving from Emptiness: The Life and Art of a Zen Dude, which you can buy or rent online at

    Things To Bring

    Art supplies are provided, including a set of calligraphy brushes that you keep

  • 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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