Xiaojun Ding, Sirui Fu, Chengcheng Jiao, Feng Yu

Chinese Philosophical Practice toward Self-Cultivation: Integrating Confucian Wisdom into Philosophical Counseling

  • Religious studies

Traditional Chinese philosophy has always paid much attention to the cultivation of one’s body and mind, speeches and behaviors. The contemporary rise of philosophical practice, especially in the context of philosophical counseling, presents an opportunity to integrate the rich legacy of Confucian self-cultivation. This paper endeavors to delineate the practical applications of Confucian principles in philosophical counseling, with special emphasis on the actionable concepts of “gongfu” and “jingjie” and their synthesis in the “unity of knowledge and action”. Through a series of illustrative examples and proposed session outlines, we offer a vivid portrayal of how Confucian thought can be operationalized within a counseling framework to address the existential and ethical dilemmas faced by individuals in ancient and modern times. We argue that the nuanced understanding and practical implementation of these Confucian concepts can significantly enhance the efficacy of philosophical counseling. Additionally, we outline the requisite qualifications for becoming a Confucian philosophical counselor, suggesting a certification process that ensures counselors are both philosophically adept and exemplars of moral cultivation. Thus, this paper not only expounds on the theoretical underpinnings of Confucian thought in philosophical practice but also provides a clear blueprint for its application in contemporary settings.

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