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“與獨處相安 與萬事言和” translates to “Find peace in solitude and harmony in all things.” It is a phrase that emphasizes the importance of finding inner peace and being able to maintain harmonious relationships with everything around us.

As we age, we may experience increasing feelings of loneliness, which is a natural part of life. We come into this world alone, and ultimately, we will depart from it alone. Life itself can often feel like a solitary journey. Regardless of the number of friends or family we have, no matter how many joyous moments we share, there comes a time when everyone is gone. In those quiet moments, when we are left alone in our world, true happiness lies in how we choose to spend that time with ourselves. The quality of our solitude becomes paramount. – are we able to find solace and contentment in our own company?

Calligrathrapy, or Shufa (書法), offers a unique avenue for exploring and enjoying solitude. This ancient practice is the highest art form that Chinese literati has revered for thousands of years. It embodies the concept of 以藝入道 (yǐ yì rù dào) – the idea of using art as a pathway to Dao: enlightenment.

Shufa emphasizes control, precision, and deliberate expression, creating a meditative practice that harmonizes mind and body. By engaging in Shufa, one can discover a peaceful refuge in the focused strokes of the brush, the flow of ink, the formation of each character, and the philosophical meaning behind the words. The solitude that might otherwise feel lonely is transformed into a tranquil sanctuary for self-expression and introspection. It’s a moment to converse with oneself, allowing the mind to wander as the brush dances on the paper, echoing the sentiment of peace in solitude.

As Socrates once said, “Know thyself.” One way to achieve self-awareness is through the art of Shufa, Calligratherapy. So why not consider giving Shufa a try in 2024?

By dedicating a portion of our day to practising this ancient art form—spreading out the paper, grinding the ink, and focusing on each stroke—we can gradually cultivate self-discipline, concentration, determination, and introspection. This practice allows us to observe and reflect upon ourselves while embracing the beauty of solitude.

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