Friday, November 29, 2013

An Important New Book


The Teachings of Tempu: Practical Meditation for Daily Life details the life and meditation techniques of Nakamura Tempu (1876-1968). Mr. Nakamura taught Shin-shin-toitsu-do (“The Way of Mind and Body Unification”) for over 50 years and authored bestselling books. He trained over 100,000 people, including members of the Japanese Imperial Family, government officials, business leaders, top athletes, celebrated actors, martial arts experts, and notable novelists. 

The book begins with Mr. Nakamura’s early years and a global quest to cure his tuberculosis. This search took him to the USA, where he studied medicine at Columbia University. Next, he traveled to Europe, where he lived with actress Sarah Bernhardt and researched psychology. In Egypt he encountered Kaliapa, an Indian mystic and yoga master, who brought him to India for a final attempt to save his life. After austere meditation in the Himalayas, Nakamura Tempu attained enlightenment, shook off the bonds of illness, and returned to Japan a changed man. 

The Teachings of Tempu uses episodes from Mr. Nakamura’s life to introduce his philosophy of mind and body unification, his forms of meditation, and how these skills can help you attain better health as well as deeper calmness, concentration, and willpower. It contains rare photos from Japan, which chronicle his long life. Also featured are extensive quotes from his books, the first time his writing has been offered in English. The Teachings of Tempu presents experiments and exercises you can try at home to understand mind and body unification—the essence of Mr. Nakamura’s realization and the secret to unlocking human potential. Illustrations of these exercises and forms of meditation are provided, along with an Introduction by Sawai Atsuhiro, a leading teacher of Shin-shin-toitsu-do and a direct student of Mr. Nakamura. Dr. Robert Carter, author and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy for Canada’s Trent University, wrote the Foreword.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Free Class!

On May 2, 2013 the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts in California will offer an introductory class in the Shin-shin-toitsu-do system of Japanese yoga. This event is FREE.

What You can Experience
Shin-shin-toitsu-do is the form of Japanese yoga and meditation that will be offered. Shin-shin-toitsu-do, “The Way of Mind and Body Unification,” was founded in the early 1900s by Nakamura Tempu Sensei. Nakamura Sensei lived in India, where he studied the art of Raja yoga, the yoga of meditation. After studying medicine at Columbia University, he blended Indian meditation and health improvement with his background in medicine, psychology, Japanese healing arts and meditation, and Japanese martial arts. He taught for many years in Japan, authored best-selling books, and counted among his students a large number of Japan's top executives, politicians, fine artists, athletes, martial artists, and people from every walk of life. But few Westerners have yet been exposed to these extraordinary teachings.

Shin-shin-toitsu-do offers you practical forms of seated and moving meditation, breathing methods for health, stretching exercises, autosuggestion for altering negative habits, stress management, and self-healing techniques that are little-known in the West. Emphasis is also placed on the development of ki (chi in Chinese). Ki amounts to life energy, and its cultivation has a profound effect on mental and physical health. The goal is greatly enhanced concentration, willpower, calmness, relaxation, and physical fitness.

All You Need to Know to Participate
The class will take place at 1053 San Pablo Avenue in Albany, California, right across the bay from San Francisco. The Japanese yoga program starts at 7:00 PM. You can read more about this subject at www.senninfoundation.com.

Wear loose clothing and bring a notebook. Pre-registration is needed and easily accomplished. Just leave a voice mail at 510-526-7518 or send e-mail to hedavey@aol.com. Leave your name and phone number, and then indicate that you would like to participate. Indicate if anyone else is coming with you, and then just drop by on May 2, 2013. Please arrive a few minutes before 7:00 PM for general registration.


The class will be taught by Troy Swenson Sensei, who has been studying and teaching at the Sennin Foundation Center for several years. He has associate instructor certification in Japanese yoga.

Don't miss your chance to learn how Japanese yoga can help you realize better health, deeper calmness, and enhanced concentration in everyday life. Thanks for supporting our dojo. We're looking forward to seeing you, your friends, and your family on May 2.

Monday, March 11, 2013

From the Author

From the Author of Brush Meditaton and The Japanese Way of the Artist

AN INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE CALLIGRAPHY AND MY BOOK
Within our lifetimes, we are witnessing the meeting of East and West; the fact that both Asian and Western cultures have a variety of good points as well as bad points is fairly obvious. What is perhaps not as evident is my supposition that through a positive, non-biased process of Eastern and Western cultural exchange, a new, more balanced, more enlightened global culture may result. Moreover, while I explore calligraphic painting (shodo) as well as other Japanese cultural arts in Brush Meditation—A Japanese Way to Mind & Body Harmony, and although I made an attempt to examine the meditative aspects of shodo and various Japanese arts, one of the main reasons I wrote this book is to let other Westerners know that it is possible, and meaningful, for non-Japanese to participate in traditional Japanese art forms.

At their deepest levels, the martial arts (budo), tea ceremony (chado), flower arrangement (kado), calligraphy (shodo), and other Japanese arts, are the same. Despite their obvious physical differences, these arts share a common set of aesthetics; and more importantly, they require the acquisition of identical positive character traits if you are to become successful in their performance. Note that many of these arts end in the word "do." Do means "the way," and it indicates that a given activity has transcended its utilitarian function, that this action has, furthermore, been elevated to the level of art, and that its proponents are teaching it as a way of life. In sum and substance then, a do form is an art which allows you to grasp the ultimate nature of the whole of life by examining yourself in great detail through a singular aspect of life. In other words, to grasp the universal through the particular.

Many artistic principles and important mental states are universal for the various Japanese ways. One of the most significant and basic principles that these arts share is the concept of mind and body coordination. While few of us are required to use a brush in daily life, most people are interested in realizing their full potential and enhancing their mental state as well as physical health. Since integrating the mind and body allows us to accomplish these aims, the relationship between the mind and body, along with how to achieve a state of mind-body harmony, is one of the main themes of Brush Meditation.

In the case of painting, some adherents may speak of a "unity of mind and brush," and make statements which indicate that "if the mind is correct, the brush is correct." In Japanese swordsmanship, it is not uncommon to speak of a unity of mind, body, and sword. Likewise, in Zen meditation, students are encouraged to arrive at a state of mind and body coordination, a state of "self-harmony." All of these assertions point to the necessity of integrating the mind and body in action. Mental and physical harmony is also vital for realizing your full potential in daily living, and it remains one of the central elements needed for mastery of any of the classical Japanese ways.

Yet, perhaps surprisingly, although I serve as Director of the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts, I'm not teaching and pursuing the above-mentioned art forms, due to an overwhelming interest in Japanese culture. While I certainly am, of course, interested in Japan, my main intention in studying these arts is to examine the nature of the self, the universe, and life as a whole. This point is vital, as the miscellaneous "do" all indicate a "way" that transcends boundaries and limitations. It is in the end not a "Japanese way," but rather a human way, and ultimately, the Way of the Universe.

In Brush Meditation, shodo, or Japanese brush writing, is used as a representative example of how the various do forms help us to discover principles that relate universally to all aspects of living, and which can enhance our lives. Brush Meditation starts off with a brief history of calligraphy and painting in Asia and explains why these arts hold relevance for the West. Following this is an explanation of mind-body unification in shodo and painting, as well as the actual techniques of controlling the brush. The aesthetics and principles, which are universal for Japanese cultural arts, will also be explored, along with their importance for cultivating calmness and concentration. Of course, a few introductory lessons in brush meditation, calligraphy, and painting are included. Sources for shodo and painting supplies are also detailed in the appendix.

In conclusion, I am not a master of any of the above topics. Still, I have had unique opportunities to study, in both the U.S. and Japan, Japanese arts that remain inaccessible to many people in the West. It is my wish to share with interested others a bit of what I have been able to absorb about these art forms. Even more, this book amounts to an act of personal study, self-examination, and analysis that I hope will also be relevant to other people interested in art, meditation, and/or Japanese culture.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Review of Brush Meditation, Part of The Japanese Way of the Artist Anthology

"As a highly ranked, well-respected instructor of various arts, including classical martial arts, Japanese yoga, and shodo (calligraphy), H. E. Davey is able to discuss shodo in terms of wider spiritual and philosophical implications for the non-practitioner and, indeed, for anyone seeking insights and ideas from Asian culture and traditions. This is an unusual talent and a rare gift, and Davey speaks from an unusual perspective of awareness, position, and repute."
--Wayne Muromoto, publisher, The Classic Budoka blog

Friday, November 2, 2012

From The Japanese Way of the Artist



"Certain philosophical and aesthetic standards are shared by all Japanese arts. From the martial arts, to Japanese dance, to flower arrangement, distinctive artistic codes are held in common. These aesthetic codes have had a profound effect on the unfolding of the Ways."--H. E. Davey, The Japanese Way of the Artist

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Free Classes!

On August 23, 2012 the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts in California will offer an introductory class in the Shin-shin-toitsu-do system of Japanese yoga and meditation, along with an introduction to Saigo Ryu martial arts. This event is FREE.

What You can Experience
Shin-shin-toitsu-do is the form of Japanese yoga and meditation that will be offered. Shin-shin-toitsu-do, “Th
e Way of Mind and Body Unification,” was founded in the early 1900s by Nakamura Tempu Sensei. Nakamura Sensei lived in India, where he studied the art of Raja yoga, the yoga of meditation. After studying medicine at Columbia University, he blended Indian meditation and health improvement with his background in medicine, psychology, Japanese healing arts and meditation, and Japanese martial arts. He taught for many years in Japan, authored best-selling books, and counted among his students a large number of Japan's top executives, politicians, fine artists, athletes, martial artists, and people from every walk of life. But few Westerners have yet been exposed to these extraordinary teachings.

Shin-shin-toitsu-do offers you practical forms of seated and moving meditation, breathing methods for health, stretching exercises, autosuggestion for altering negative habits, stress management, and self-healing techniques that are little-known in the West. Emphasis is also placed on the development of ki (chi in Chinese). Ki amounts to life energy, and its cultivation has a profound effect on mental and physical health. The goal is greatly enhanced concentration, willpower, calmness, relaxation, and physical fitness.

You will also have a chance to try Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu, a traditional and non-competitive martial art. While many Westerners use “jujutsu,” “jujitsu,” or “jiu-jitsu” to describe their art of self-defense, most of these methods bear little resemblance to the original Japanese jujutsu, Japan's oldest martial art. Both aikido and judo stem from jujutsu, and the Sennin Foundation Center is one of few dojo in the USA to offer authentic Japanese jujutsu.

Saigo Ryu features a wide variety of powerful throwing, pinning, and grappling techniques stemming from older methods originating in the Aizu-Wakamatsu area of Japan. Saigo Ryu is a sogo bujutsu, an “integrated martial system,” and it also features advanced training in the martial arts of the sword, spear, staff, short stick, iron fan, and others. It is unique and unlike many more well-known martial disciplines (like karate-do, kendo, and iaido). While training is vigorous, and the practiced self-defense techniques effective, the emphasis is on subduing an opponent without unneeded injury. Students improve their health while learning martial arts as meditation, which helps them to remain calm under pressure. Some practitioners have likened Saigo Ryu to “moving Zen.”

Saigo Ryu also teaches methods for cultivating ki. Ki, “life energy,” animates human beings, and an understanding of it is useful in both martial arts and daily life.

All You Need to Know to Participate
The classes will take place at 1053 San Pablo Avenue in Albany, California, right across the bay from San Francisco. The martial arts class is not required, and it will follow the Japanese yoga program, which starts at 7:00 PM. Since the Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu training will refer to principles of mind and body unification covered in the Japanese yoga class, everyone will want to participate in this first part of the evening. You can read more about both subjects at
www.senninfoundation.com.

Wear loose clothing and bring a notebook. Pre-registration is needed and easily accomplished. Just leave a voice mail at 510-526-7518 or send e-mail to hedavey@aol.com. Leave your name and phone number, and then indicate that you would like to participate in one or both classes. Indicate if anyone else is coming with you, and then just drop by on August 23, 2012. Please arrive a few minutes before 7:00 PM for general registration.

The classes will be taught by Troy Swenson Sensei, who has been studying and teaching at the Sennin Foundation Center for several years. He has instructor certification in Japanese yoga and Saigo Ryu martial arts.

Don't miss your chance to learn how Japanese yoga and/or martial as can help you realize better health, deeper calmness, and enhanced concentration in everyday life.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation

Great news! Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation is back in print with a new publisher. Michi Publishing is starting to release new copies of this landmark book to the public, and you should be able to order a special signed edition from www.senninfoundation.com very soon. 

The Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts is scheduled to receive Japanese Yoga on June 11, 2012. Check the website after this date to order your own personal copy of this meditation classic. Paypal and major credit cards will be accepted, and international orders are encouraged. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

H. E. Davey Biography

H. E. Davey is the Director of the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts (www.senninfoundation.com), which offers instruction in Japanese systems of yoga, martial arts, healing arts, and fine arts. His introduction to the arts of Japan came via traditional martial arts. Since the age of five, he's studied jujutsu extensively in the USA and Japan. He has received the title of Kyoshi from the Kokusai Budoin, a Tokyo-based international federation. Kokusai Budoin defines Kyoshi as comparable to a "Master's Certificate" and equivalent to modern ranks of sixth- to eighth-degree black belt. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Shudokan Martial Arts Association (www.smaa-hq.com).

In middle school, Mr. Davey began Shin-shin-toitsu-do, a system of Japanese yoga and meditation founded by Nakamura Tempu Sensei. He's the only member of Tempu-Kai, an organization established by Mr. Nakamura, who is a full-time professional instructor of Shin-shin-toitsu-do. He's practiced in Japan and the USA under Nakamura Sensei's senior disciples, including Sawai Atsuhiro Sensei and Hashimoto Tetsuichi Sensei.

Mr. Davey's also received extensive instruction in Nakamura Sensei's methods of bodywork and healing with ki ("life energy"), which he teaches. He's furthermore received training in Hatha yoga and Pranayama breathing exercises in the tradition of Indra Devi.

Mr. Davey also studied shodo, or Japanese brush writing and ink painting, for 20 years under the late Kobara Ranseki Sensei of Kyoto. Mr. Davey holds the top rank in Ranseki Sho Juku shodo and exhibits each year in Japan. He's received numerous honors in these exhibitions, including Jun Taisho ("Associate Grand Prize").

H. E. Davey's articles on Japanese arts and his artwork have appeared in numerous American and Japanese magazines and newspapers. He's the author of Unlocking the Secrets of Aiki-jujutsu (McGraw-Hill), Brush Meditation: A Japanese Way to Mind & Body Harmony (Stone Bridge Press), Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation (Stone Bridge Press), Living the Japanese Arts & Ways: 45 Paths to Meditation & Beauty (Stone Bridge Press), The Japanese Way of the Artist (Stone Bridge Press), and The Japanese Way of the Flower: Ikebana as Moving Meditation (Stone Bridge Press).

The Japanese Way of the Artist has its own Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheJapaneseWayOfTheArtist

Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation also has a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/JapaneseYoga

H. E. Davey's Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts is on Facebook, too: http://www.facebook.com/SenninFoundation

Be sure to also check out H. E. Davey's Art of Shodo Facebook page for world class Japanese calligraphic art: http://www.facebook.com/ArtOfShodo

If you're a fan of Mr. Davey's books on Japanese arts and meditation, you may also enjoying becoming a fan of these Facebook pages.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No art takes places without inspiration. Every artist also needs effective knowledge of his or her tools (e.g., does a certain brush function well with a particular kind of paint?). What’s more, artists need effective techniques for using those tools.

Likewise, to express ourselves skillfully with maximum efficiency and minimum effort, we need to investigate the most effective ways of using the mind and body since, in the end, they are the only “tools” we truly possess in life.

H. E. Davey, Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kobara Sensei 7th Year Memorial Service



On December 17th, 2011 the Seventh Year Memorial Service for Kobara Ranseki Sensei took place at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco at 1:00 PM. Kobara Sensei was the founder and Shihan ("Headmaster") of the Ranseki Sho Juku system of Japanese calligraphy and painting as well as the Vice President of the Kokusai Shodo Bunka Koryu Kyokai, which is based in Urayasu, Japan.
The private service was attended by around 20 people, mostly members of the Kobara family and H. E. Davey Sensei and Miyauchi Somei Sensei, two of his closest students of shodo. Although Kobara Sensei taught many people the ancient art of brush calligraphy over several decades, only four people ever received Shihan-Dai, the highest level of teaching certification. Davey Sensei and Miyauchi Sensei are the last two living Shihan-Dai of Ranseki Sho Juku shodo. They lead the Wanto Shodo Kai, "East Bay Shodo Association," in Oakland, California. Davey Sensei is also the Director of the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts, where classes in Integrated Shodo & Meditation are offered.
A Jodo Shinshu Buddhist service started the event, followed by a traditional offering of incense to Kobara Sensei by members of his family, Miyauchi Sensei, and Davey Sensei. The memorial service closed with comments from Kobara Kazuko, Kobara Sensei's wife. She recalled his deeply spiritual nature, how he viewed most everyone as members of his family, and how his last words were expressions of gratitude.
Following the service, refreshments were offered at the church social hall, which contained pictures of Kobara Sensei as a child, teaching shodo, receiving awards at international shodo exhibitions, and being presented with the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

From the Author


Living the Japanese Arts & Ways is out of print, but the entire book is now offered in The Japanese Way of the Artist (Stone Bridge Press). What's more, you'll also get two of my other out of print titles: Brush Meditation and The Japanese Way of the Flower.

Shodo (the "Way of Japanese calligraphy"), budo (the "martial Way"), and kado (the "Way of flower arrangement") are just some of the numerous Japanese arts ending in “Do,” indicating “the Way.” Nonetheless, how these arts function as Ways isn’t always understood.

It’s common to state that these various disciplines represent a Way of life (thus the designation “Do”), and that by practicing, we can transcend them and grasp the art of living. While this is true, it’s uncommon to find a teacher (or book) that can explain how such Do forms lead to spiritual realization. While some books pay lip service to the ideal of the Way producing spiritual evolution, they also sometimes fail to offer direct explanations and methodologies to help students realize the Way. It’s frequently assumed that merely manipulating a brush or throwing an opponent will produce profound realizations.

This is untrue and unfortunate. It’s untrue because it’s the manner in which we approach the Ways that determines what we learn from them. Spiritual realization isn’t guaranteed.

It’s unfortunate because the conscious practice of Japanese Do forms truly can result in the cultivation of mind and body. But to use them as meditation, we must investigate exactly how they can lead to realization.

Japanese calligraphy, flower arrangement, tea ceremony, martial arts, and other Do has been the subject of numerous books. Few of these works, however, have explored how they go beyond art and enter into spirituality. Even fewer have offered methods to practice what can be thought of as “moving meditation,” and which are needed for personal growth to take place.

My book was written to answer that need, and I'm grateful for the kind reviews as well as the positive worldwide response.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Free Japanese Yoga & Martial Arts Classes!





On Thursday, November 3 the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts will offer an introductory class in the Shin-shin-toitsu-do system of Japanese yoga and meditation, along with an introduction to Saigo Ryu martial arts. This event is FREE. The classes will take place at 1053 San Pablo Ave. in Albany, California, right across the bay from San Francisco.

The martial arts class is not required, and i
t will follow the Japanese yoga program, which starts at 7:00 PM. Since the Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu training will refer to principles of mind and body unification covered in the Japanese yoga class, everyone will want to participate in this first part of the evening. You can read more about both subjects at www.senninfoundation.com.

Wear loose clothing and bring a notebook. Preregistration is needed and easily accomplished. Just leave a voice mail at 510-526-7518. Give us your name and phone number, then indicate that you would like to participate in one or both classes. Let us know if anyone else is coming with you, and we'll see you on Thursday. Please arrive a few minutes early for general registration.

The classes will be taught by Troy Swenson Sensei, who has been studying and teaching at the Sennin Foundation Center for several years. He has teaching certification in Japanese yoga, and he received a black belt from the Shudokan Martial Arts Association Jujutsu Division. He is also the assistant editor of the SMAA Journal.

Don't miss your chance to learn how Japanese yoga and/or martial arts can help you realize better health, deeper calmness, and enhanced concentration in everyday life.