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Arts of  Ink Paper Brush Movement

Practicing Chinese Calligraphy & Its Longevity Benefits


Chinese calligraphy is not only a beautiful art, its practice is also an effective way to enjoy healthy life and longevity. Many medical reports and research studies in Mandarin speaking countries of Asia have rated practicing Chinese calligraphy as the number one activity for benefiting longevity among other twenty activities or so. Chinese calligraphy is both an artistic and physical practice. It can elevate one's body, mind, and spirit from internal and external practices. It has been regarded as a good way to strengthen one's will and lead to a healthy life.Many principles and benefits of practicing Chinese calligraphy are very similar to meditation, Qi Gong, and Chinese internal martial arts. While one is practicing Chinese calligraphy, one has to calm the mind, body, and breath and focus on writing. The breath is very smooth and the mind is very peaceful and joyful.

For Chinese calligraphers, literally, we are "writing (not painting)" the characters with brushes made of animal hairs. Technically, we are "carving" the characters to some extent by using the brush tip to mimic a knife. Mentally, we are "projecting" the characters - that's why Chinese calligraphy is also called the "picture of soul" or "heart painting" or "mind image." ( 字即心畫 ) To project our characters and images beautifully, Chinese calligraphers need to enter a meditative mode to create beautiful, profound, and artistic characters. This is not in a religious sense. More and more medical and scientific studies have proved the value and benefits of meditation. Meditation for the sake of the art of Chinese calligraphy is to cleanse and purify our body, mind, and spirit from inside out and corroborate the external and internal conditions for the visualization, creation, and enjoyment of art. One of the ways to "project" writing from our mind is to treat the hairs of a writing brush as our extension of nerves with the mind being the commander. In order to write beautifully, we also train and fine-tune our nerves and hand movement with correct body mechanics which benefit our well being. The upright and ergonomically correct postures required during practicing Chinese calligraphy as well as one's enjoyment and focus upon writing beautiful Chinese characters can lead one to a higher coordination of mind, body, and spirit and attain longevity without specifically working on it.

Since Chinese calligraphy is also a very meditative, disciplined, and relaxing practice, master calligraphers and those who enjoy practicing it have been known to outlive their contemporaries throughout the history of China. 

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