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.
We meet monthly on Sundays in the late afternoon. Everyone is welcome to come and learn Zen brushwork. Because space is limited, regular students as well as the newly interested, are asked to register their intent to attend. This can be done by going to the schedule page and using the button provided there. Susan Perry
Zen Brush Classes
Zen Brush is a practice of eastern-style brushwork (Shodo) with a focus on relaxing, moving with the breath and body and cultivating 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 it's nature, slows a person down; we can all use this in the stressful and hectic modern world.
Takaji Shimizu, (1896-1978) who was a grand master (10 dan) of many martial arts including Shodo (Way of the brush), said that Shodo was his favorite martial art. 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. 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.
A Zen Brush piece may be a piece 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.