Fine Arts

Japanese calligraphy instruction in Albany, California

We offer instruction in Integrated Shodo & Meditation. Shodo is the “way of calligraphy.” It's one of the most respected Asian fine arts. Painted with brush and ink, Japanese calligraphy uses centuries old kanji (“Chinese characters”), which due to their pictographic nature have similarities to abstract expressionism. Balance, grace, dignity, vibrant movement, and the beauty of line combine to create a dynamic ink painting of the mind admired worldwide.



The Sennin Foundation Center gives you an opportunity to study genuine shodo—an art rarely taught in English—for artistic expression and moving meditation. Students study kanji as well as hiragana and katakana—phonetic scripts—along with classical ink painting. You’ll also learn to brush haiku and waka poems, sometimes with ink and water painted illustrations (sumi-e). Sumi-e is a bit similar to watercolor painting, and shodo is a fun way to study Japanese language, while you learn about Japanese culture.


H. E. Davey Sensei, the primary instructor at the Sennin Foundation Center, is the author of Brush Meditation: A Japanese Way to Mind & Body HarmonyLiving the Japanese Arts & Ways: 45 Paths to Meditation & Beauty, and The Japanese Way of the Artist. He's a top student of the late Kobara Ranseki Sensei of Japan, founder of Ranseki Sho Juku calligraphy. He studied with his teacher for 20 years, and he received the highest rank in Ranseki Sho Juku brush writing. He has exhibited at the International Shodo Exhibition in Japan, where he received Jun Taisho, the “Associate Grand Prize,” among numerous other awards. Davey Sensei’s art has been featured in many American and Japanese magazines and newspapers. He's regularly commissioned by collectors and businesses to create distinctive shodo art.


Integrated Shodo & Meditation is a program created by Davey Sensei to teach shodo in a manner that leads to meditation. Likened to “Zen with a brush,” it combines group instruction in Shin-shin-toitsu-do forms of meditation with private lessons in Japanese calligraphy. Along with meditation and art, students learn exercises for enhancing ki, “life energy” (chi in Chinese). Strengthening ki benefits health, and ki is the enigmatic, dynamic force behind powerful calligraphy and painting.

Authentic shodo is rarely taught in the West. Finding a program combining shodo with lessons in meditation and unification of mind and body is even more rare.

Our Shin-shin-toitsu-do classes for beginners are on Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 to 8:00 PM and Saturday from 8:45 to 9:45 AM. These are small, semi-private classes. Private lessons are also available. Membership fees range from $76 to $95 per month (with unlimited classes). Once you're a member, you can immediately study shodo in private lessons at mutually convenient times. The fee is $70 for an hour (or $35 for a half hour) and includes sample artwork painted by Davey Sensei that's yours to keep. Most students take a private shodo lesson every two weeks. Call 510-526-7518 to make an appointment to visit and learn about the Sennin Foundation's classes. Click the FAQ button above for even more information.


Contact us today to learn how shodo and meditation can help you discover beauty and serenity in your daily life. 

Now offering online instruction using Zoom! Contact us today about ongoing classes and webinars.