Shodo, the Way of the Brush
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Zen Brush is a form of Japanese calligraphy (Shodo). But more than just writing in a foreign language, Zen Brush offers a deep study of how to use your breath and body as the source for your brush strokes. Because there is this conscious mind/body focus, Zen brush practice is meditative in nature and very relaxing.
In this class, Japanese characters (kanji) are used as the primary method of learning basic brush strokes which are used in brushing kanji but also which form the basis of asian painting of all sorts. See Suzan's Bamboo Wind (below) which features the kanji for "wind" along with painting of bamboo blowing in the wind.
The Founder of Aikido - Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei (who was declared by Japan a sacred national treasure) - was a calligrapher of dynamic proportions. He was able to produce tremendous power in his brushstrokes while revealing a gentle dynamism.
Come to a Zoom class with Suzan Perry. She has been studying this form of brushwork for over 35 years with noted calligraphers as well as with Japanese teachers who teach through Japanese organizations through which she holds rank.
Suzan has been teaching a class in Zen Brush for many years before Covid 19. These local classes would take place in a beautiful garden. Now, we are all staying home, but she has found a way to present her lessons over the internet with the help of Zoom.
Once you register for class, Suzan will send you an email that will include the otehon (lesson plan) for that class along with your invitation for that class. Print out the otehon so you will have it next to you during class. Use the invitation information to log into the zoom class. It's that simple. Oh yes, and don't forget to use paypal or snail mail to keep a balance of give and take for the class. (see donation page)
During class, Suzan will use the otehon to help elucidate the etymology, stroke order, and different forms of a kanji (character). Then with her #2 camera you can watch her brush in real time so that you can see how she holds and moves the brush. In this way, you can understand the rhythm of the brush stroke and whole body movement. Then, with your otehon guide beside you, you will practice alongside Suzan. Classes are small; questions are answered.
Request a Zoom invitation be sent to your email, donate $20 (or more) to Aiko Institute through paypal (or by check), and enjoy a practice that is sure to relax you in these difficult times.