Zi-Fa Fu 自發符 Self-Activated Talisman

August 16, 2011

Last weekend I taught a workshop on Self-Activated Talisman writing in Bratislava for Peter Filo’s students (Feng Shui International). Below are some notes and tasks given in the class. The first photos showed the students’ first attempt at writing a talisman to prevent burglary at home, the last photo showed  my own effort.

“To the ancient Chinese, ideas were images or metaphorical symbols, their function was to suggest or give some hints to what the author intended to tell the readers.” – Shih-Chun Chen.

Talisman writing in this sense is a natural extension of the Chinese language because even with an agreed sets of symbols and metaphors they are limiting in expressing our deepest emotional and spiritual needs. Chinese Talisman writing tried to bridge this gap in creating a personal language in an attempt to communicate with the Unknown.

Class Exercise:

1) Design a self-activated talisman, to prevent burglary in your home (What is so precious that you don’t want to be stolen?), with graphic symbols and metaphors to express your deepest feelings on the subject with “Cheng” (sincerity and honesty).

2) Write up a poetic prayer to accompany the act of writing up the talisman in one continuous flow by practicing the writing to a point where you can internalize the picture with the words (“one breath, one heart/mind and one action”).

3) Chose 3 of the best out of the group and let the authors express their thoughts on the design and the poem to see if we can understand the “spirit” hidden in the talisman.

2 Responses to “Zi-Fa Fu 自發符 Self-Activated Talisman”


  1. Great idea to become more creative and personalize the art of creating and self protection!

  2. howardchoy Says:

    Hi Aelita,

    Thanks for dropping by, it is amazing how the personality, the fears and the longings came through in a self-activated talisman. It is one way to become self-aware and have fun at the same time.

    Howard


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