Zen Creativity: The Art of Life and Death

1. Alok w feather brush
3. Soaring with dot 211229
2. Comfort Ye 211225
4. Return to the Source 220107


a new three-day workshop with Alok Hsu Kwang-han

October 4 – 6, 2024 | Friday – Sunday | 9 am – 5 pm

  • Medium: Ink, Paper
  • Experience Level: All Levels of experience are welcome in this workshop!
  • Registration: Click the “Cancellation Policy” tab above for more information
  • Materials: All materials are included. Click the “Materials List” Tab above for more information.
  • Location: Sedona Arts Center, Theatre Studio

In this workshop we engage in Zen creativity to explore the art of life and death. Using specially made Chinese brushes, ink, and paper – all provided for you to use and keep after the workshop – Alok will ask you to paint things that are impossible to paint so that you can be comfortable with not-knowing and be available to the intelligence and creativity prior to thought. In that deep intimacy, you-as-the-brush can move forth with freedom and wonder. We let go of our customary identification with who we are and who we are supposed to be and our need to know how to do it, so that we can show up for the gift of healing into death and into life which may not be so different from showing up for the creativity prior to knowing who we are and what to do.

Alok might ask you to paint the story of Zhou Zhou who was asked, “When great calamities arrive, how shall we respond?” he replied,”‘Welcome!”…or you might paint Rumi’s saying, “God has only 4 words, ‘Come Dance With Me!’”…or Alok might ask you to paint Ryokan’s haiku, “The thief left it behind/ the moon at my window.” Or we all might paint some grief suggested by you that has dredged you deeply or some surprise awakening that might bring us all home.

At age 84, Alok has added one extra day to his usual weekend workshop and limited attendance to 10 participants so that we have more opportunities to explore “resting in presence and moving from emptiness”, to create strange and wonderful paintings, to show and tell our paintings, and to be so blessed as to heal into life and death!

The day begins at 9 am sharp with active-combined-with-stillness meditation, we have tea, we remember to breath into and from our being, we paint and share our paintings with each other, we each bring a lunch and eat together. We finish at 5 pm holding hands in a circle.

  • “Healing into Life and Death” is a most apt phrase from Stephen Levine’s book with the same title. Though Alok’s way is different, he acknowledges Stephen and Ondrea’s great contribution in the “therapeutic” dimensions of this healing and is grateful for the resonance.


1. Jot down sayings or topics you might want to explore or would like to paint. Please give Alok a copy.

2. To have viewed the trailer and the 69-minute documentary: Moving from Emptiness: the Life and Art of a Zen Dude                                                                                            

Alok’s website:  www.zencalligraphy.com


24 1004 AHK

Alok Hsu Kwang-han

Alok Hsu Kwang-han

Alok Hsu Kwang-han is a Zen calligraphic painter from China whose work is a startling synthesis of the beauty of Chinese calligraphy, the spontaneity and simplicity of Zen, and the evolution of healing in Western psychotherapy. An artist with a diverse background, Alok has earned academic degrees from American universities in mathematics, Christian theology, sociology and the psychology of religion. He has taught sociology of religion and psychology of transcendence, and in China translated and published 20 books on meditation.

In his workshops, he teaches “Zen as art and art as Zen.” He has also brought what he calls “the creativity of non-doing” into trainings for international organizations and  business leaders.

Alok has exhibited in galleries worldwide. Beginning in 2001, his painting, Just This! Just This! was the entrance piece to the exhibition “Harmonizing with the Infinite” at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. He has had solo exhibitions at the National Ethnographic Museum in Sweden; the Great Hall of Exhibition in Shanghai; the Water Harp Temple and Garden in Pune, India; Kim 3 in Santa Barbara, California; the Goldenstein Gallery in Sedona, Arizona, and other venues.

Alok is well known for his singular work of painting calligraphic portraits in transformational sessions for individuals, couples, families, and organizations. He is the subject of the award winning 69-minute documentary, “Moving from Emptiness: the Life and Art of a Zen Dude.”

Since turning 77 in Oct., 2015, Alok is focusing his energies on teaching in-depth one-on-one tutorial/retreats for a select number of sincere artists at his home studio in Sedona, Arizona. He continues to offer an annual workshop at the Sedona Arts Center.


The cost for the three -day workshop includes all materials: 3 brushes Alok designed and had made in the best traditional brush factory in China,  a bamboo wrap large enough to hold your brushes and has room for more as you might  acquire them, a large 250 g. bottle of YiDeGe ink, mixing dishes for the various shades of black (in Chinese calligraphy, we call these shades “colors”), plenty of xuan paper, and a piece of 100% black felt to reflect the ink and water back into the paper. These are yours to keep and use beyond the workshop.

To keep our energies together please bring your lunch to the workshop daily

If you would like to talk to Alok prior to the workshop, you are welcome to book a free 1 hour Zoom meeting with Alok by first contacting him via alok@zencalligraphy.com.

Cancellation Policy


  • Each student must enroll individually.
  • Students may register online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Office at 928-282-3809, ext 1.
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours at the Art Barn.

In-Person and Online Workshops

  • Payment in full is due upon registration, or a payment plan can be put in place by the student upon check-out through Sezzle.
  • There is a $125 Cancellation Fee for any cancellations made before September 4, 2024. Remaining balance will be refunded.
  • There are no refunds after September 4, 2024.
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Note: If traveling to Sedona, we strongly urge students to purchase refundable airline tickets or travel insurance in case of workshop cancellation due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen changes. Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for non-refundable ticket purchases or lodging fees.

Important Message

The Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for providing make-up sessions or issuing refunds, credits, or transfers for courses missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control. There are absolutely no refunds after the cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all fees paid will be refunded in full.