top of page

East Asian Calligraphy Foundation Course

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


Introduction to East Asian Calligraphy/Ink Brush Practice with Kum Nye

6 class recordings + 3 Q&A recordings + Class Notes & Guide Books

** This course is the foundation preparation which will be highly recommended for further ink painting courses.

In this course we will explore mindfulness, awareness and presence through simple body movement and brush work. 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 (from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition) – suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Your ink brush journey:

In each session we will learn a single stroke and be guided through a close study of an ancient Chinese masterpiece. Each stroke is demonstrated a few times (with different camera angles) to give us a clear sense of the brush movement, and each session ends with suggestions for home practice designed to help you cultivate your own calligraphy practice. Please note, it is necessary to have an authentic ink-brush and ink – dusting off your water-colour paint set will not work for this purpose.


Course Details

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 practicing 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 Centered 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.


Course Schedule

Each session last for 2.5 hours

  • Kum Nye/Meditation 25 mins

  • Ink Brush 50 mins

  • Break 5 mins

  • Kum Nye /Meditation 20 mins

  • Ink Brush 50 mins



  • UNDERSTAND the philosophy and deep meaning of East Asian brush practice

  • CULTIVATE the foundational practice through body posture, breathing and brush movement

  • CLOSE study of calligraphy master samples in three different scripts

  • DEVELOP embodiment practices to remain present in everyday life

  • PREPARE the foundation for further ink painting practice (courses)



  • STUDY AT HOME watch Yingge and Matt's teaching right from your home

  • 6 CLASS RECORDINGS (15 HOURS OF TEACHINGS) watch the demonstrations and brush movements from 3 different angles

  • UNLIMITED ACCESS review any time

  • 3 Q&A RECORDINGS frequently asked questions from practitioners been answered with demenstrations

  • ONLINE COMMUNITY FORUM a place you can share your practice, ask questions and stay peer-to-peer support on this journey

  • HOME PRACTICES & CONTEMPLATIONS bring the teaching into your daily life with practices and reflections

  • PRINTABLE CLASS NOTES you can review the key points and ideographs at your own pace and highlight quotes or concepts for future reference

  • MINI LIBRARY of instructional videos to keep and practice with



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, Yingge has been teaching meditative brush painting workshops and retreats in meditation centres, art studios and local schools across Ireland.

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, elsewhere in Ireland and online.



"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

“The course is wonderful. You and Matt have constructed and planned it excellently. And all the ways we can connect after a class are brilliant. Brush stroke calligraphy has become my focal point for these 6 weeks. It’s like being on Holiday as it transports me to another place. Thank you again.”

-- Clare H, 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

“... 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.

Wishing you both a wonderful last class. Thank you for sharing your beautiful wisdom, “

-- Mary, May 2021


Tools & Materials

There are some tools & materials that will be required for you to get the best of this retreat:

  • Chinese/Japanese ink brush

  • Black ink

  • Ink container

  • Normal A4 computer paper

  • Water jar

  • Magic Writing Mat (optional)

We look forward to seeing you on-line!

Have questions? Contact me here.



bottom of page