Established 1981

1053 San Pablo Avenue
Albany, CA 94706


e-mail inquires are welcome, but phone calls tend to receive the fastest response

visits by appointment only

Serving the San Francisco East Bay Area, including the communities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Kensington, Oakland, and Richmond

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Fine Arts

Integrated Shodo & Meditation

Shodo means the “way of calligraphy,” and 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 by people worldwide.



The Sennin Foundation Center offers you an opportunity to study genuine Japanese 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 age-old haiku and waka poems, sometimes with accompanying ink and water painted illustrations (sumi-e). Sumi-e is a bit similar to Western 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 Harmony, Living 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, the 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 frequently exhibited his artwork at the International Shodo Exhibition in Japan, where he received Jun Taisho, the “Associate Grand Prize,” among numerous other awards. Davey Sensei’s artwork has been featured in many American and Japanese magazines and newspapers. He is regularly commissioned by collectors and businesses to create distinctive shodo art.



Integrated Shodo & Meditation is a program created by Davey Sensei to teach Ranseki Sho Juku shodo to Westerners in a manner that leads to meditation. Likened to “Zen with a brush,” and 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, human “life energy” (chi in Chinese). Strengthening ki benefits health, and ki is the enigmatic and dynamic force behind powerful calligraphy and painting.

Authentic shodo is rarely taught in the West, and 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 take place 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, and 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 $60 per hour and includes sample artwork painted by Davey Sensei that's yours to keep. Most students take a private shodo lesson every two weeks.

You can read about Davey Sensei, Kobara Sensei, and Integrated Shodo & Meditation at the Art of Shodo Facebook page: Call 510-526-7518 to make an appointment to visit and learn more about the Sennin Foundation's classes. Contact us today to learn how shodo and meditation can help you discover beauty and serenity in your daily life.