The 2000 year old practice of Sumi-e brush and ink painting is rooted in Zen Buddhism and practiced by highly disciplined monks toward becoming a Zen master. It is a process of creating an image spontaneously in just a single stroke of the brush, without hesitation or alteration. The snake or serpent was often the subject of their paintings because it represents the process that leads to enlightment and mastering one's self - it sheds its skin and is therefore a potent symbol for the constant universal process of change - death, transformation and rebirth. Sumi-e practices later became incorporated into the code and training of the Samurai which taught them concentration, clarity, and simplicity.
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