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Oriental Brush Painting / Sumie Workshop - Bamboo

- A Weekend Meditative Brush Painting Retreat

An East Asian ink painting workshop of bamboo (“墨竹”) which explores the deep meaning of this topic through Zen meditation, brush practice and philosophic and moral qualities.


2 Day meditative brush painting retreat with Yingge Xu & Mary Soshin Laheen

Location: Earth+Sky Dojo Dublin (1 Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin 1)



During the two day retreat, we will explore mindfulness, awareness and presence through Zen meditation, body movement and meditative brush practice. We will learn to trust the flow of ch'i (lifeforce) through our brush, and onto the paper, and likewise how we bring awareness and concentration into our everyday activity.

Bamboo is the Noble Spirit of the first season of the year, when the yang energy starts to grow and lives are forming. Bamboo has always played a key role in Chinese culture and art. As the bamboo grows upright, weathering all conditions, it came to represent the perfect gentleman who always remains loyal. Wen Cheng Ming wrote:

“A pure person is like a tall bamboo,
A thin bamboo is like a noble man.”

In this workshop you will learn how to hold a brush, the body posture and how to relax your body with breathing exercises. You will learn how to paint bamboo through various brush techniques and exercises supported with step-to-step guidance. At the end of the workshop, you will paint a bamboo piece with black ink on rice paper.

It's a wonderful time to learn, to reconnect and to share with people and co-create a real live experience.


What are included:

  • All painting tools and materials will be provided onsite (feel free to bring your own


  • Cushion and mattress to meditate;

  • Blanket to keep you warm;

  • Oriental tea selections, snacks, fruits and nuts;

What to bring:

  • Lunch box for Saturday and Sunday. Feel free to sit in and share a bit, or find a quiet corner; if weather allows, we will go for a walk and have a picnic in the park.

  • Wearing comfortable clothing to allow maximum movement;

  • Bring a pair of warm socks;

  • We encourage you to bring your own water bottle. However, if not convenient, you will still find everything you need onsite.



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, Yinnge has been teaching meditative brush painting workshops and retreats in meditation centers, art studios and schools across Ireland.

Mary Soshin Laheen

Mary Soshin Laheen is a Zen Teacher in the White Plum Asanga - an association of Zen

teachers in the lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, based generally in the Americas and

Europe -. She has practiced zen since the 1990s and is the spiritual director of Earth+Sky Zen

Dublin Dojo at 1 Upper Gardiner Street, in Dublin’s city centre. Mary is also an architect and

teaches Architecture at University College Dublin.


Background of Oriental Brushwork

Oriental brush practice, which has been well known as ink painting or sumi-e in Zen tradition and East Asian calligraphy, have always been closely related to mindful art practice and meditation. This three-thousand-year-old art form, which originated in China has commonly been appreciated and practiced in most parts of East Asia and been introduced to the world.

Holding a brush and practicing calligraphy is a relaxing and joyful experience. Each moment of practice is a moment of learning. As a calligraphy master said “oriental brush painting is not a goal-oriented task but, rather, a path for deepening your way of life’’.


We look forward to seeing you!

Have questions? Contact me here.



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