Tao and Calligraphy

The practical Tao of calligraphy in the history and today

Calligraphy is closely related to Taoism. Since calligraphy has played special role in the long history of China, it is covered with a mist of mystery. As calligraphy can help a person with the self-cultivation and self-restrain in his daily life, all people up from the emperor down to the common take calligraphy as an important practice in their lifelong time. Those who had the great achievement in the history must be outstanding in brush writing as well. In human society, one’s brush writing is nice or not is directly related to the success of his career.

Calligraphy cannot be simply equated with method of handwriting of other languages ​​in the world. The reason is that the name of ShuDao, Tao of calligraphy is all the same as Tao cultivation. Tao-cultivation means that the practitioners will gain enormous energy and ability through the daily practice, which will naturally help their business and success in their lives. Calligraphy contains exact same practical significance and effect. Below are some legendary persons who were also outstanding calligraphers in the past.

  1. The famous General Suo Jing (239-303) of Western Jin Dynasty. According to the history record, Suo Jing was the most gifted calligrapher of Zhang Cao style after the cursive saint Zhang Zhi.
  2. The saint of calligrapher, the General Wang Xizhi (303-361) of Eastern Jin Dynasty. “Preface of Lanting gathering” by Wang Xizhi is commonly recognized as the best brush writing in running style in history.
  3. A very virtuous duke of Lu County, the Great General Yan Zhenqing (709-784) of Tang Dynasty. Yan Zhenqing’s calligraphy was simple, unadorned, solemn and weighty. His style of calligraphy had carried deep and profound history of China. The letter of condolences to his nephew in running style made him the second place of Chinese calligraphy in history.
  4. The great gifted scholar Su Shi (1037-1101) of Song Dynasty. Su Shi persist old method of calligraphic style of Jin and Tang Dynasty. He accomplished the great job of the calligraphic copybook of Cold Food in running style, which made him the third place in the history.
  5. The brave and fierce commander, the ever-victorious Yue Fei (1103-1142) of Song Dynasty. Yue Fei’s cursive style of calligraphy is like flying dragon and full of positive spirit and heroism.
  6. The founder of The People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Mao Zedong was not only a great thinker, but also a commander to triumph in every battle and win every fight. His cursive style of calligraphy is uninhibited and full of the spirit of revolutionary romanticism.

Due to the limited space, below I only briefly introduce two typical Emperor’s calligraphic works.

  1. Emperor Li Shimin (599-649) of Tang Dynasty. Li Shimin was good at both civil and military affairs. His famous and outstanding calligraphy works were Wenquan inscription, Jinci inscription, The Copybook of the Screen etc.
  2. Emperor Zhao Gou (1107-1187) of Song Dynasty. Zhao Gou’s regular and cursive style of calligraphy was extremely outstanding. His representative works were The Prose of Roselle and The Theory of Health Preserving by Ji Kang. His free and easy strokes were tactful, natural and smooth. He acquired Jin people’s calligraphic charm very much. His skilled cursive lettering and his idea of the brush were suave and coherent. His writing flew smoothly and calmed with vigorous and flying.

If only you can follow the ancient master as an example through every day’s calligraphy practice consistently, you will be able to ultimately acquire the great Dao to achieve the great success of any business for the leadership. It will benefit to the common people in every day’s social life as well. Above all, you will not be disappointed with your effort of every day’s practice on the calligraphy once you fulfill the combination of Dao and calligraphy to make the dream comes true.

About author

Master Dongyang branches out from Daoist lineages that stem from private Daoist hermits. He promotes Dao as a practical, effective and functional way to deal with the world with ease without having to retreat from it. He bridges the gap between ancient knowledge and the modern world.