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In Mahayana Buddhism we can see various artistic expressions: Thangka and Songs of Milarepa in Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese art also were influenced heavily by Buddhism. Is there any forms of art practiced by Theravada monks? Do you know of any monks who were painters or poets?

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The arts—be it painting, sculpture, architecture, calligraphy, etc.—have certainly flourished in the Theravada communities of the Southern Buddhist countries (Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia). See, for example, this section of the Wikipedia article on Buddhist art or this chapter of the book Enlightened Ways: The Many Streams of Buddhist Art in Thailand. And here is a gallery of pictures that might be of interest. With regard to poetry, be sure to check out the Theragata and the Therigata.

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These are pictures I took at the Laotian temple (in the US) I've been attending. I'm told the monks make the decorative parts of the buildings and the statues. I thought this was very interesting so I looked it up and apparently these traditional artistic skills are passed down among the Theravada monks in Laos. more information

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