THE ARTISTRY OF ZEN CALLIGRAPHY
Experience the energizing activity of Zen style calligraphy and see your true nature
The relationship between Zen and Shodo is like salt and pepper. You don’t need one for the other to be good, however it is the combination of both that truly season the character.
The art of Japanese Calligraphy goes back hundreds of years. A large number of members of the Samurai class and Zen masters of the past devoted their lives to the study and practice of this form of art. Famous Samurai who were also master calligraphers includes Musashi Miyamoto and Yamaoka Tesshu.
Zen calligraphy, also known as Bokuseki ((墨蹟, “ink trace”), is an abstract art form brushed by Zen practitioners often during or after intensive meditation training. Unlike traditional calligraphy which follows strict rules of writing and methodology, Zen calligraphy aims to express one's mental state through the physical activity of wielding the brush across the paper. Therefore the experience of brushing calligraphy is not bound by rules but driven by intention, breath and posture. It is the manifestation of mushin (無心 - no mind) that makes calligraphy Zen. Mind and brush connected calligraphy is pure, free of thoughts and attachments.
Shodo, as is known in Japanese, is to its fullest extent a form of self expression; a way to transmit your KI (inner spirit) into the paper through brush and ink.
This 3-hour long class is designed for students to experience this unique style of Shodo or Japanese Calligraphy. In the Chozen-ji line of Zen training, calligraphy is practiced by copying the work of Yamaoka Tesshu. This class will follow a similar methodology, however, we will spend time dissecting Tesshu's calligraphy style. Before attempting to brush Tesshu's calligraphy, students will first learn how to brush the characters in block script (kaisho style) with the correct stroke order and composition.
Students will learn the traditional posture and body movement when brushing Zen calligraphy. Consequently, students will learn how to use a taihitsu (large calligraphy brush) while kneeling on the floor.
This is considered an introductory workshop. No prior experience is required but certainly welcomed.
All materials will be provided.
"I loved the whole day Basic Japanese Calligraphy workshop with Esteban Martinez !
It was an inspiring experience-the course is very well organized, he is so experienced and demonstrates clearly and beautifully! He helps every student by guiding their hand to get the feel of the stroke movement if they need it. He is encouraging and supportive for beginners. I found that practicing calligraphy together created a warm and friendly community. I look forward to the next one day workshop he offers!"
WHO'S TEACHING THIS CLASS?
Esteban Martinez has been training in Aikido for 22 years and holds the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt) with Aikikai Hombu Dojo. He began practicing Japanese Calligraphy and Zen after completing his Kenshusei training in 1998 under the late Aikido and Zen Master Fumio Toyoda Shihan. Ten years later he studied calligraphy (shodo) and penmanship (shuji) under Maki Narita LaBonte through a series of personal lessons.
Esteban currently runs GOHITSU Shodo Studio, a website dedicated to the three pillars of BUDO: KEN, ZEN, SHO (Sword, Zen and Brush). Esteban’s calligraphy can be found on displays in martial arts dojos around the world. He has also been commissioned to create calligraphy for tattoo artists, company logos, Japanese Woodblock Prints, and web graphics.
He is also a senior Aikido instructor at Zenshinkan Dojo in Worcester, MA and an Assistant Professor of Culinary Arts at Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA.
Location & Schedule
Saturday, February 17, 2018
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
65 Water St. Worcester MA 01604
Zenshinkan is a beautiful traditional Aikido dojo. There is a classroom adjacent to the main training hall where we will meet for our workshop.
Limited seats available, register now!