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Dwelling in the Light of Spring - On Site Retreat

Create a Foundation of Inner Peace and Contentment
4 Day Calligraphy Retreat with Yingge Xu & Matt Padwick
11am Tuesday 8 to 1.30pm Friday 11 February, 2022

  • For beginners – A journey to understanding and experiencing personal presence through the aesthetics and philosophy of East Asian Calligraphy / Ink Brush Practice

  • For practitioners with experience - review and deepen your understanding of brush skills and calligraphy practice. You can also expand your practice by bringing the notes from previous brush retreat/ classes and practicing them at your own pace with individual guidance.

In this retreat we will explore mindfulness, awareness and presence through simple body movement and oriental brush practice.

We will learn to trust the flow of Qi (ch’i, life-force) through our brush, and onto the paper, and likewise how we can bring awareness and joy into our everyday activity.

To help us relax and be present in the body, each session begins with simple movement and breathing exercises of Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga – suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Your ink brush journey:

During the four days retreat, each day we will learn new strokes and do a close study of some ancient Chinese masterpieces. Each stroke is demonstrated a few times to give us a clear sense of the brush movement. You will have chance to practice, receive personal guidance and share your experience with the participants. At the end of the retreat, you will receive supported materials designed to help you cultivate your own calligraphy practice when you back home.

All the tools & materials will be provided on-site. All you need is warm and comfortable clothing and to show up ready to learn and get inspired!


Lesson 1: Breathing We will see how to set up our workspace and do some basic brush movements as we learn posture, and how to hold and use our brush.

Lesson 2: Grounding We explore how to connect our brush movement with our body and breath; we will learn some new strokes and do a close study of the ideograph “Human”.

Lesson 3: Bring Heaven to Earth We combine the strokes we have been practising and gain an understanding of the connections of this system of writing; we will do a close study of the ideograph “Heaven”.

Lesson 4: Being Centred We identify the different types of East Asian calligraphy scripts; explore how our body interprets the brush flow and how this transforms our brush movements. We are introduced to applied strokes in semi-cursive and cursive scripts, and do a close study of the ideograph “Tree.”

Lesson 5: Creativity We will learn new strokes, do a close study of the ideograph “Moon” and explore through practice all three scripts: formal, semi-cursive, and cursive.

Lesson 6: Rejoicing We study the ideograph “Eternity.” This character is very important in East Asian calligraphy because it includes all eight of the most basic movements. With all the practice and understanding we have built in the last sessions, we will find ourselves more confident and joyful with our brush work as we continue to practice all three scripts: formal, semi-cursive, and cursive.



“This is a course for anyone, not just Artists and Creative people. It combines very mindful practises With relaxed enjoyment and is totally non-judgemental. Give it a go and believe that something wonderful will happen! “– Clare Hoffman, Ireland, May 2021

I just wanted to let you know that I’m really enjoying this course. I have to say I think the blend of Kum Nye and calligraphy is genius. You get to watch your mind with its typical ideas, tendencies and attachments and ultimately have to let go of it all. The Kum Nye really settles you and the way you both teach brings a different non dualistic approach to something that would typically be taken with an achieving, judgemental mind approach. The way westerners approach everything! So this is refreshing – allowing the Yin space for other things to arise within it.” – Mary G, May 2021

“Just wanted to say thank you to you and Matt for the course. I really enjoyed it. The mix of yoga and calligraphy worked really well. And the pace and structure of your teaching was fantastic. I feel I have gained basic skills but more importantly a good understanding of the thinking behind and the philosophy of the art form.” – Veronica, May 2021
“I needed to write to thank you for this wonderful course. I am unable to join you live, but every week I have been enjoying learning these wonderful practices and I feel them influencing me in my other moments, massive enjoyment of the breath rising up, slowing down my perceptions and every moment lasting that little bit longer than before. I am so happy and grateful for your instruction. “ – Mary, May 2021



Yingge Xu

From an early age Yingge Xu learned Tai Chi, meditation and calligraphy alongside her father while receiving a traditional education in China. Later she trained at the Chinese Flower and Bird Painting Institute and continued her learning with ink brush artists from both China and Japan.

Moving to Ireland in 2015, and seeing how meditation is taught and applied in the West, inspired a new perspective of her own art and cultural background. Yinnge shares her passion for both meditation and ink-brush art, not as separate activities but as a ‘wholesome experience’.

Matt Padwick

Matt has been practising meditation and Kum Nye as a member of the Dzogchen Beara community since 1998. He has completed two years of closed retreat and worked in a variety of roles including Centre Director 2003-2013.

Matt offers Kum Nye workshops and retreats at Dzogchen Beara and elsewhere in Ireland - currently, in response to Covid-19, the programmes have successfully adapted to an online format.



JOIN THE RETREAT Vegetarian lunches and light evening meals are provided. The cost is included in your fee.

We look forward to seeing you on site!

Have questions? Contact me here.



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