Brush Demonstrations

Each year you will find members of this brush group present at the Aiko Institute booth in April for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Monterey Park, California as well as in October at Claremont's Village Venture Festival in the village square in Claremont, California. For dates, times and directions, please see the current newsletter, The Community Well.

Zen Brush Classes

Zen Brush is a form of Shodo; the Way of the brush.  With a focus on relaxing, moving the body with the breath, cultivates mindful energy. One's spirit leaves its mark as the tension of one's body, and, movement of breath dance across the paper. Brushwork, because of this nature, slows a person down; we can all use this practice to relax in the stressful and hectic modern world we live in today.

   Ichitaro Kuroda who was a grand master (10 dan) of many martial arts and awarded the Emperor's medal for contributions to the martial arts said, "[I]f you have the skill and patience to control the brush, you can control the sword, other weapons and your body and mind". He said that Shodo was his favorite martial art.

     The Founder of Aikido - Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei (who was declared by Japan a sacred national treasure) - was a calligrapher of dynamic proportions and is a good example of why Shodo is viewed not only as a martial art but as one of the most difficult. O-sensei was able to produce tremendous power in his calligraphy; the traces of his ink have captured his clean power as well as his gentle nature for us to see today.

    It is not easy to control the soft hairs of a brush and the loading and unloading of ink to produce something clean and bright.  A Zen Brush piece may be finished with one stroke done in one breath. To practice in this way is to cultivate one's clarity and brightness by connecting one's entire being with the energy of nature. This is the Way of Zen Brush.