Water From all Rivers


“He was very open minded, like the ocean containing water from all rivers.”

— Pema Chujen on Chokyi Tenpa Tsering, the founder of the Parkhang printing lamasery monastery in Tibet. Read the fascinating New York Times article here.

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Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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4 Responses to Water From all Rivers

  1. “The printing blocks are constructed from red birchwood in 13 steps. At an early stage, the raw pieces of wood have to be soaked in feces for a half-year. Those that do not crack or break during this period are then made into printing blocks, Ms. Pema said. Craftsmen apply an herbal solution that repels rats and insects.”

    Wow! I guess that explains (somehow) the average age of the printing blocks at 260 years old. Sort of funny that just fecal smell won’t repel rats.

    Too bad they didn’t show the press or comment about the ink. Or maybe they press the blocks by hand? (edit–> yes: http://www.tibetanconnections.com/the-ancient-tibetan-printing-press-of-derge/)

    Also from that last link:
    “The root of a white flower found on the grasslands of Tibet, known as the ‘rama richok’ flower, is crushed and formed into paper. This root is poisonous. Insects cannot eat into paper made with this root. This ensures Tibetan texts can be preserved for centuries.”

    Therefore soak your wood in feces and make your books out of insect-poisonous paper. Both your chairs and books will last…and last…and last. The chairs might never leave your shop (smelly?), but they’ll last.

  2. mysticcarver says:

    What a grand way to describe someone’s mind. Very interesting article.

  3. kendewitt608 says:

    This story could be helpful when LAP prints the Dali Lama of Covington Ky.

    Start making your print blocks now.

  4. kohalabeeman says:

    Must look cool when waters are awash

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