10 Advantages of Practicing Calligraphy

Calligraphy is far more than simply writing characters. (Image: stevendepolo via Compfight/cc)
Calligraphy is far more than simply writing characters. (Image: stevendepolo via Compfight/cc)

Chinese calligraphy is a unique traditional culture. But nowadays, we have developed network communication tools, and we seldom write Chinese, not to mention practicing calligraphy. Chinese calligraphy, however, is one of the fundamental ways of self-cultivation; let’s take a closer look and learn what advantages we can gain from practicing calligraphy.

1. Calligraphy nurtures your spirit

In the Yellow Emperor, an ancient Chinese medical text, it says: “Serenity nurtures the spirit, agitation destroys it.” Calligraphy can help people to be calm; when children practice calligraphy, they acquire peaceful concentration and eliminate impatience and irritation.

For every stroke you make, you stay focused in body and mind, a state that nurtures the spirit.

2. Calligraphy cultivates your heart

By practicing calligraphy, you will gain patience and sharpen your mind. Patience is also a path to perseverance. Lao Zhi said: “All great accomplishments begin from minding details.”  The first and the last strokes of every character help you to cultivate a good habit of paying attention to detail.

3. Calligraphy cultivates your vision

Understanding from your heart comes from what you hear and what you see. However, to observe is far more important; we pay more attention to how much we are able to observe through watching and seeing.

4. Calligraphy nurtures the concept of aesthetics

Calligraphy also helps you learn to appreciate beauty, to find beauty, and to create beauty.

5. Calligraphy: A path to a righteous heart

Calligraphy can help you to cultivate a righteous heart. Liu Gong Quan, a famous calligrapher and poet from the Tang Dynasty, said: “When the calligraphy is properly done, your heart will be righteous.”

You can elevate your character by practicing calligraphy. Calligraphy is the engine of our spirit, in other words: “If you’re good at calligraphy, you’ll be good at being a good person.”

chinese calligraphy tools

To practice calligraphy, one needs the ‘four treasures of study’: a writing brush, an ink stick, paper, and an ink slab. (Image: Vision Times)

6. Calligraphy improves your willingness to learn

We always want to cultivate a great respect for traditional Chinese culture by not only teaching children calligraphy, but at the same time enhancing their appreciation for Chinese history and other classic writings.

7. Calligraphy elevates the spirit

Mencius, a famous Chinese philosopher, said: “I nurture my broad righteousness.” We focus on the energy and artistic quality of calligraphy, but with more emphasis on cultivating a “Noble Spirit.” This is a progressive spiritual strength; the result of a hard-working and tolerant spirit.

8. Calligraphy nurtures a respectful heart

Practicing calligraphy with a pious and respectful heart ensures that you will enlighten to the wonder of calligraphy.

9. Calligraphy nurtures propriety

While learning each stroke of a character, we should focus on cultivating propriety. Confucius said: “Don’t look at anything improper, listen to anything improper, say anything improper, or do anything improper.”

Through practicing calligraphy, we can learn self-control and regain propriety. The spirit of propriety is what the world needs most right now.

10. Calligraphy nurtures diligence

Practicing calligraphy requires you to be diligent, persistent, and to be able to endure well. Du Fu, a famous poet from the Tang Dynasty, said: “A man should read five truckloads of books and work hard for his prosperity.”

Studying Chinese calligraphy can help us to achieve our goals in life.

(Image: bloomsberries via Compfight cc)

Calligraphy nurtures patience. In the picture is the Chinese character ‘ren,’ which means patience or tolerance written in calligraphy form. (Image: bloomsberries via Compfight cc)

Translated research by Mona Song and Kathy McWilliams.

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