I have a new theme in my life – – Take a chance and you will be highly rewarded. I cannot say this was a planned outcome but am grateful for its continued presence in my life. Yesterday’s experience with Shodo was no exception.
Shodo is a term for Japanese Calligraphy. However, this simplistic description hardly does it justice. It is more than just writing or a form of communication. I would describe it as a combination of therapy, spirituality and meditation. Even in my brief 100 minute exposure to this, I sampled the “delicious flavors” that Shodo has to offer.
At the top of the list was a reflection of being in the Now (or not). Each stroke of the brush is a direct reflection of the energy patterns that exist in your body, mind and Spirit at that given moment. If there is tension or anxiety, it will be seen immediately on the paper. If thoughts are distracting, the kanji (see picture above for example) will serve as a mirror image of said thoughts. If the Spirit is restless, the strokes will be inconsistent. It is truth in its purity.
Like many other arts, it is also a form of therapy and meditation. The latter is represented by the need for inner quiet and steady breathing. All that exists at the time the brush touches the page are in fact, the brush, the paper and the energy (Ki) you put into it. If you have problems or concerns, it is a remarkable way to alleviate these. Clear the unwanted energy or more so, connect the disconnected energy and the kanji will be flowing and strong. So will your life.
I was filled with many notions upon completion of this class. For starters, it is humbling. The external simplicity belies the incredible depth of the “-do” or art. Master Shodoka (those who are highly skilled at Shodo) make the complex, simple and beautiful. It is also quite elaborate. The angles of the brush, the force and flow of the stroke, posture, breathing and many other factors play into Shodo. It is a budo (martial art) for sure, albeit much different from karate or aikido.
Yesterday I feel that via this class, a seed has been planted, so to speak. I can begin to see a type of personal development system deriving from this, much like for example, EFT derived from acupuncture and Taoism. The form is still in its infancy but the power and flickering has been felt. Time will allow for the maturation of this idea.
I have said this many time (having been in this field initially), I think much of traditional psychological approaches are painful, tedious and ineffective. What happened in the past is already done. There are better ways than trying to unearth the past. In addition, labels (addict, adult children of alcoholic, recovering XYZ etc.) are often emotional prisons, restricting the individual from evoking into the beautiful butterfly that s/he is.
In my opinion, you do not have to delve deep into the past and uncover the evils that lurk in one’s psyche to improve your life
Sometimes, you simply need to breathe, be present and pick up a brush.