Zen Buddhist monk, poet and author of many books (more than 130, including Vietnam: a lotus in a sea of fire; There is neither death nor fear; The Fullness of the moment, living in full consciousness; Peace in itself, peace on the move.), Thich Nhat Hanh is a tireless peace activist who traveled the world and founded many religious and social institutions.
He is affectionately nicknamed Thay, which means “teacher” in Vietnamese.
Youth and ordination
Born in French Indochina (now Vietnam) in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a Zen Buddhist monk since 1942, when he was 16 years old.
In his youth, he befriended a French soldier who wondered about the usefulness of war. Thich Naht Han was against the Vietnam War and did not want to take sides.
Vietnam War and exile
In 1961, he went to study at Princeton University in the USA, in 1963 he returned to his country and founded a non-violent resistance movement to war.
Accused of communist propaganda, he was forced into exile from 1967. He obtained the right of asylum in France.
Also in 1967, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, but the prize was not awarded that year.
Plum village in France
In 1982, he settled in the southwest of France, and founded Plum village, the largest Buddhist monastery in the West.
In this Buddhist community, which has 200 resident members and welcomes 10,000 visitors a year, many practices are taught: the art of mindful living, meditation, inner smiling and conscious breathing.
End of life of Thich Nhat Hanh
In 2005 he returned to Vietnam, to the temple of Tu Hieu in Huê, where he had begun his career as a monk, and he died there in 2022 at the age of 95.
Some quotes from Thay, Thich Nhat Hanh
“The miracle is not walking on water, it is walking green Earth in the present moment and appreciating the beauty and peace that is available now.”
“It is very important to know how to listen with compassion. To listen with compassion is to listen with the will to relieve the other of his suffering, without judging him or seeking argument.
“Meditation is not escaping from society, but coming back to ourselves and seeing what is happening. Once you see, you have to act. With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help.”
“Christians are my brothers. I don’t want to make them new Buddhists. I want to help them deepen their own tradition. »
In Thailand, thai massage is an integral part of everyday life. They are practiced mainly as a preventive measure, because their regular practice allows you to stay in good health.
Traditional Thai massage is a true alternative medicine that has its roots in the ancestral traditions of Ayurvedic medicine.
In Thailand it is called Nuad Bo Rarn or Nuad Boran. Nuad means “pressure” and boran means “old”.
Of Indian origin, its practice spread to Thailand at the same time as Buddhism, around the 5th century BC.
The Nuad Boran is practiced on the ground on a futon, dressed in loose and comfortable clothes, and without oil or lotion.
The masseur uses his thumbs, elbows, knees, feet to exert pressure on the whole body, as well as stretching and postures.
It is an invigorating massage that works the whole body, and its health benefits are numerous.
In addition to softening the joints and relaxing the muscles, Thai massage helps detoxify the body, in parallel with the 3 other elements of traditional Thai medicine: nutrition, herbal medicine and meditation.
It frees the mind from accumulated stress, relieves tension and stiffness in the body, it is beneficial for blood and lymphatic circulation and it improves the quality of sleep.
You will leave your session completely relaxed and regenerated.
Be careful, however, because there are contraindications, for example for pregnant women, and certain serious illnesses. If in doubt, seek the advice of a doctor.
To give or receive a Thai massage, you should wear loose and comfortable clothes, such as Thai pants and a Thai shirt.
You will find some on my online store, also discover our massage and self-massage accessories!
Aum (or Om) is a Sanskrit syllable. It is found in several religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, or Brahmanism.
This sound is considered to be the divine primitive vibration of the Universe which represents all existence. The original sound from which the Universe would have structured.
The AUM syllable therefore represents the totality of what exists, as well as the Hindu trinity:
The letter A represents the beginning, the birth, and the creator god Brahma.
The letter U represents continuation, life, and the god Vishnu
And the letter M represents the end, death, and the destructive god Shiva.
The pronunciation of Aum is sometimes described as follows: first A emerges from the back of the throat, towards the palate, then U rolls on the tongue and M ends on the lips.
A symbolizes wakefulness, U, dream, M, sleep. Awakening corresponds to the fourth step: silence, departure and rebirth of Being.
This is the first syllable of the famous Aum Mani Padme Hum mantra.
At Arasia, we have the soul of the traveler, and one of our favorite countries is of course Thailand, which seduced us with its refinement and omnipresent spirituality, whether in its cities or its countryside!
Discover our selection of popular Thai proverbs, which often evoke the rural and animal world, because Thailand has traditionally been an agricultural and rice-producing country.
“The rice that is in your attic is your enemy because it arouses the jealousy of those who do not have it”
There is no point in amassing too much wealth, better to share it with your neighbors! If everyone is happy, it will make the world a better place! “The hen sees the snake’s legs, the snake sees the hen’s teats”
Everything is relative and depends on our point of view: always keep an open mind! “When the water drops, the ants eat the fish; when the water rises, the fish eat the ants “
Events can cause situations to change, or even reverse themselves completely, never taking anything for granted! “If a dog bites you, don’t bite the dog”
Take a step back from the events, do not react on a whim, and take the time to think it will be beneficial to you! “Draw a tiger to scare the cow”
Be smart and don’t hesitate to bluff your opponent! “It’s hard to get the cane out of the elephant’s mouth”
And now my favorite Thai proverb: “There is no other happiness than peace”
“Stick a gold leaf on the back of a Buddha statue”
This popular Thai expression refers to Buddhist culture: It designates a person who likes to do good, humbly and in all discretion.
He who sows silence reaps peace.
He who is under the sky, how can he fear the rain?
The fruits do not fall far from the tree.
Hope rises higher than the mountains.
Don’t wake the sleeping tiger.
Who helps his body, helps his mind and calms his mind.
The professor is like a boat waiting for passengers to take them across the river.
Breaking your leg today can save your life the next day.
In youth one must seek knowledge; in old age, a master.
Life is so short, you have to move slowly.
And you, what is your favorite proverb? Do not hesitate to comment on this article !
Sanskrit is the sacred language of ancient India, many terms of which are now frequently used in the world of yoga and wellness in general.
With our little Sanskrit lexicon, enter a mysterious world of infinite wisdom!
AHIMSA: This term, popularized by Gandhi, means “non-violence” and “benevolence towards all creatures”. This is the first principle of “yamas”, the codified rules guiding yogis on their path of life.
ASANA: Literally “yoga posture, or sitting”.
ASHRAM: spiritual community gathered around a sage.
AUM or OM: primordial vibration of the universe, link between interior and exterior. Represents the four degrees of reality: waking (A), dreaming (U), deep sleep (M) and turya or silence.
AYURVEDA: From “ayur”, “life” and “veda”, “knowledge”, Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India which dates from the Vedic period. According to Ayurveda, Matter is composed of five elements (the tattvas): earth (prithivi), water (apas), fire (tejas), air (vayu) and ether (akasha). These elements come together in three combinations to form what are called “doshas”, which determine the different “types” of people.
BANDHAS: Energy locks in the physical body that yogis use to hold life energy. The three main bandhas are mulabandha (at the level of the root chakra); uddyanabandha (at the level of the diaphragm) and jalandharabandha, (at the level of the throat).
CHAKRAS: The chakras are the energy centers, located along the spine. They are often symbolized by lotuses (padma).
DHARMA: this term designates the natural law, the duty, the wheel of the journey of life.
GUNAS: the material world is made up of three qualities which are the “gunas”. These three qualities are present in living beings and food: “tamas” = laziness and resistance; “Rajas” = energy and movement; “Sattva” = balance and purity.
GURU: “Gu” means shadow and “ru” means light. The guru is a master, a teacher who guides us from shadow to light.
KARMA: means “action”, “movement of energy”. Karma is the law of cause and effect (or law of causation).
KOSHAS: The five envelopes of the human being: the physical, energetic, mental, intellectual and spiritual bodies.
LILA: the divine ballet or “game” of the physical world.
MALA: Hindu rosary. In general, the mala is made up of 108 pearls, a sacred number in yogic mythology. Often composed of natural stones and seeds, it is used to count breaths or mantras.
MANDALA: literally “center, circle, unity and totality”. Mandalas are geometric designs widely used as a medium for meditation.
MANTRA: It is a phrase, sequence of words or syllables, repeated while singing, and / or meditating. This practice is based on the power of repetition.
MAYA: It is the illusion of the physical world and the main cause of our suffering.
MOKSHA: Refers to the liberation of the soul, when it has completed its cycle of reincarnations.
MUDRA: Sacred gestures performed with the hands and fingers. The practice of mudras helps to raise vibrational energy.
NAMASTA: This is a greeting commonly used in India and in yoga classes as a sign of gratitude, benevolence and peace.
NIRVANA: Refers to the liberation of a being from the cycle of rebirth (samsara). The self is no longer separated from the rest of creation and with this state comes intense happiness. This is the goal of the Buddhist and Hindu spiritual journey.
PRANA: This Sanskrit word means indifferently “vital breath”, “energy of life”, “light”.
PRANAYAMA: “control” or “mastery” of “prana” ie the breathing techniques of yoga.
PUJA: Offering to the statues representing the Gods: chanting of mantras, garlands of flowers, fruits, sacred woods, milk, rice, water, incense…
SADHU: Holy man who gave up earthly pleasures to pursue a spiritual quest.
SATYA: Means “truth” in the sense of “sincerity”.
SHANTI: This Sanskrit word often sung by yogis literally means “peace”.
SUTRA: Short philosophical texts which expose a sacred knowledge.
SVASTIKA: Very ancient and powerful symbol of luck and protection. It was used by the Nazis who gave it an extremely negative connotation, but today it needs to be given back its true meaning.
VEDAS: Very ancient sacred texts from India.
YOGA: Indian ancestral art of self-knowledge. Yoga is a holistic practice aimed at training the body, the breath and the mind. It aims for the union of the self and the divine.
YOGI (male), YOGINI (female): practitioner of Yoga
Ganesha or Ganapati is a cross between the human and divine worlds. His body is that of a man while his head is that of an elephant. His mount, Mushaka, is a tiny rat.
Known as the god of wealth, wisdom and luck, traders, travelers and the household. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati.
Ganesh protects from any obstacles and unawareness, and it is customary to make an offering in the form of of flowers (preferably red), fruit (bananas, coconuts, mangoes …), plants, lamps, candles and incense, as well as treats, which he loves before one foregoes an examination, a trip, or a ceremony.
A warm and welcoming god, Ganesh is extremely popular in India and as He is seen in temples, houses, shops, restaurants…
His favorite days are Tuesday and Friday.
Other names of Ganesh are: Ganapati: Lord of Ganas Vinyaka: Best guide Gajnara: Elephant Head
The third eye corresponds according to oriental traditions to the sixth chakra. It is found in various cultures and religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and most meditative practices.
People of India often wear on their foreheads a bindi, bindu or tikal, which symbolizes and materializes the third eye, and its Sanskrit name is “Ajn”.
But what really is the third eye?
The third eye is a mystical and esoteric metaphor for the inner gaze, beyond the physical eyes, and more generally for the spiritual awakening.
It is located on the forehead, between the two eyes. It’s the other look, the real look, that of knowing yourself and the world around you. It would also be the centre of the soul.
The third eye scientifically corresponds to the pineal gland, epiphysis, which is connected to the nose, ears, and the nervous system. It is connected to the hypothalamus, the “heart” of our brain.
The seat of intuition
When its functioning is optimal, the third eye is the source of many gifts and capacities: increased perceptions, clairvoyance, and intense intuition.
We find our ability to make clear choices, and to know what we really want in our life. We are “inspired”.
When this chakra is not functional, we are unfortunately more egocentric, interested and frightened. We stay focused on our habits and our security without any real possibility of evolution. We cannot calmly accept the vagaries of existence.
Opening of consciousness
Opening the third eye raises awareness, and we become more lucid. We then better understand the thrue essence of the human being, and the meaning of life and death.
How to activate the third eye?
Its proper functioning would be degraded by the heavy metals accumulated in our body, such as fluorine and calcium. But to activate the third eye there are several methods, you can for example:
place an intense blue color stone, like a sodalite,
massage it with a drop of essential oil of dill, immortelle or palmarosa.
You can also place an indigo blue or purple Tesla Plate in the center of your forehead.
Both ancestral and contemporary, the poncho is a garment that is part of the Peruvian textile tradition. The poncho has cross time and borders : present in Asia, but also in the Incas, Nazcas and Paracas cultures.
Here is the history of the poncho, the secrets of its popularity today, and the many ways to wear it.
Origins and history of the poncho
The poncho is a typical garment and a traditional heritage of Peru, it is designed as a simple coat that protected people from the cold of winter. It consists of a thick piece of fabric in the shape of a rectangle, cut in the middle to allow the head to pass. The fabric falls on the body and allows the arms to move freely.
The wool poncho is an outer garment that was originally used by the country folk and was a must for traveling on horseback. It is an ideal garment for protection against rain, dust, hot and cold. Among the Peruvians, each man had his own poncho and its use depended on the context and the situation.
In winter, the poncho was wrapped around the body to protect it from the cold, and in hot weather it was worn around the shoulder. On horseback, it was either wrapped around the belt or worn naturally to protect the body and thighs. The wool poncho was also widely used as a blanket for sleeping.
Why is the poncho so successful?
The poncho is a timeless piece of clothing that has crossed time and borders without aging. It can be worn in many ways and brings style, comfort and elegance. Whether at home or in the street, the poncho offers a relaxed style as well as a bohemian and ethnic look.
It is a garment that brings a cocooning aspect, while being chic and trendy and above all very practical. The poncho is indeed easy to wear and effectively protects from the cold and rain, and this is what makes it so popular.
If originally the poncho was worn in winter, for protection reasons, today it has been able to transform into a real fashion phenomenon, available in several versions. The ways to wear it are endless, and its cut advantageously emphasizes the silhouette by highlighting the legs. Just pair the poncho with slim fit jeans or leather pants and heeled ankle boots to be perfectly stylish.
How to wear the poncho in style?
The poncho easily adapts to all styles, all body types, and whatever the occasion. It certainly does not replace a large coat or down jacket but it is perfect in the fall period, to keep warm, with style and elegance.
The poncho is a garment that instantly revamps an outfit, even the most basic and classic. Do not hesitate to adopt it, for a furiously trendy look. Inspired by Latin American cultures, it brings an ethnic and fantasy style. You have the choice between a modern poncho that you find in supermarkets, or a handcrafted poncho, with Nepalese know-how.
The poncho in total black look
Being considered a universal coat, the black poncho is suitable for sophisticated outfits as well as a chic look. It is perfectly suited to all types of occasions and can be worn with a black dress or black pants. The total black look with a poncho is easy to compose, practical, and elegant.
Daring colors with the poncho
Originally, the poncho was made with organic fibers, and the peoples of America who wore it favored natural colors. Thus, the dominant colors were brown, burgundy, black or beige.
Today the range of colors and shades is much more varied and richer. It is found in the tones that are the trend of each winter and it adapts easily to all fashions. The modern poncho never goes unnoticed and it attracts attention by the class it brings to an outfit.
It comes in bright colors like red, pink or bright yellow, to enhance a classic outfit or to emphasize a more sober look. Otherwise a poncho in soft pastel colors is ideal for gray days to add some sunshine.
Dare the colorful poncho with a short skirt and boots, or with pants in classic colors.
Wear a poncho with a short dress
What if you could enjoy the good weather while staying warm under your poncho? According to your desires, and the colors you like, associate a light poncho with a dress in the same tones or black. Whether in cool weather or on milder days, the poncho will adapt and bring you the necessary comfort.
Don’t hesitate to try the black poncho with ethnic patterns, over a little black dress, for a chic and trendy look.
Add a beanie or hat
Get inspired by the peoples of America, and reproduce their look, by matching your poncho with a beanie. Whether with a modern hat or with a woolen hat, you can play with accessories to bring more style to your outfit.
Adopt a boho chic style with a poncho
If you are a fan of the hippie style or the bohemian trend, then the poncho is the garment you need. It is a fashion accessory that has re-appeared in the West with the rise of the hippie movement. This style has been so successful that today it has become a fashion must-have.
For a boho chic look, the poncho can be worn with a long dress, playing on layers of colors and tones.
Adapt the poncho to your body type
If you are small, prefer the graphic-chic poncho, with a contrast of colors at the edges. If you are taller, you can play it elegant by wearing your bohemian-chic poncho. For women who have a few curves, it is better to adopt flexible materials such as mesh, for a cool and easy-going style.
Confucius or Kongfuzi (known as “Master Kong”) is a Chinese philosopher of the 6th century BC and the founder of Confucianism.
This legendary historical figure from ancient China lived under the declining dynasty of the Zhous, whose legitimacy would have come from the gods through the “heavenly mandate”.
Concerned about moral values as well as law and order in society, Confucius traveled throughout China and taught much of his life. After his death, his ideas were collected by his followers (also called “the 12 philosophers”), and profoundly influenced all Chinese civilization, but also Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Viet-Nam.
His reflections were compiled by his disciples in the Analects (“Conversations”) in the form of philosophical anecdotes forming a “manual of good leaders.”
Confucianism (or “scholarly school”) was established as a state doctrine by the Han Dynasty in the 2nd century BC and remained so until the founding of the Republic of China in 1911.
The key values of his doctrine are: respect for the old and the traditions, loyalty, benevolence, modesty and humility.
Mudras are hands gestures whose origin goes back to ancient India, several millennia ago.
According to the ancient tradition, our five fingers represent the five building blocks, or the five main elements of the universe (called Panchamahabhootas ).
The thumb is connected to the Fire (Agni)
The forefinger is linked to the Air (Vayu)
The middle finger is connected to the Ether, the Sky (Akasha)
The ring finger is connected to the Earth (Prithvi)
The little finger is connected to the Water (Jala)
It is worth mentioning that the 5 elements do not refers to the same concepts in the Indian and Chinese culture, the correspondences also change (learn more about the 5 Chinese elements here).
Murdas is practiced by creating, with one’s fingers, particular forms that generate energy and subtle vibrations that care for the body and the mind.
It also includes the principle of Asanas (postures of yoga). Moreover, mudras are often referred to as ” finger yoga”.
Practiced regularly, the mudras improve our general health, and harmony body-spirit-universe.
Mudras are omnipresent in Hindu dances, especially the dances that talk about the story of the manifestation of God in the universe.
Each mudra has a deep meaning and has a share of the magic of Life.
The Sanskrit word ‘mudra’ means ‘sign’ or ‘seal’. It comes from the terms: ‘mud’ which means ‘bliss’, happiness and ‘dhra’ which means ‘dissolution’.
Each finger has its own function and power in the body. Used properly it can help maintain your physical, mental and spiritual health.
When the fingers touch, the ‘nadis’ (energy channels) are connected and some energies are activated. The different elements that make up our body and the whole universe can associate and cooperate.
Our hands can replace our eyes in the dark, they can also be used to communicate with our fellow humans and with the rest of the universe. Our hands are the first means of expression before one learn how to speak!
Our destiny rests in our hands, and this expression is to be taken literally and figuratively.
With Hakini Mudra, the five energetic channels are equally activated.
Dharmachakra mudra is the gesture of the turning wheel of life.
Padma mudra or lotus seal is excellent to open oneself to universal love.