Confucius or Kongfuzi

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 : health at your fingertips !

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.

Arasia: practice meditation

Arasia: practice meditation

Meditation: between tradition and renewal …

Long regarded as the preserve of the wise meditation is associated with the image of the great spiritual masters, be they religious or philosophers.
Yet today, meditation is becoming more democratic: all time widespread in the East, the schools of meditation also flourish in the West and its benefits for the physical, moral and mental health are increasingly well known and recognized.

To each his own experience!

Sometimes witty, sometimes secular, the practice of meditation is always based on a technique: it is possible to meditate on an object, a thought, an action, on breathing, on his feelings or just on yourself … To each to his own experience and find out what works best for them: most of achieving focus its attention in order to appease them, to develop a better sense of yourself … and the universe!

A time out of time, a time to live better.

Practicing meditation is to give yourself valuable time: a time out of time to connect to its own power source.
If you practice meditation regularly, it will be easier every day to connect to this inexhaustible source in order to draw the life force needed to act and exist in the world.

flower of life -Arasia

The tree of life: this mythical symbol

 

The tree of life is a powerful and ancient symbol, present in many cultures.

 

It is the symbolic connection between all the forms of creation, like an immense genealogical tree. It is often represented in a circle.

 

The tree of knowledge connects the underground world, represented by the roots, with the heavenly world, represented by the branches.

 

The tree is a symbol present in many religions, mythologies and philosophies.

 

According to Christianity, the tree is present in the garden of Eden, it is the symbol of eternal life and the knowledge of good and evil.

 

The same notion of an immortal tree is found in Islam and in Judaism. Placed in the middle of Paradise, it loses its leaves every winter and these grow back in the following spring (representation of the eternal cycle of seasons and life).

 

According to Buddhism, ‘Açvattha’ is a sacred fig tree: it is under this tree that Buddha meditated and acquired wisdom.

 

Among the Hindus, the universe takes the form of an overturned tree: it’s roots start from the sky, and its branches and leaves cover the earth. The sacred tree of Hindus is the Akshayavat, “the eternal banyan,” a remarkable example of divine power, for this tree would be indestructible. It would be located within the ramparts of Fort Allahabad, at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna River.

 

In Chinese mythology, ‘Kien-mou’ is the sacred tree that connects the nine sources (stay of the dead) to the nine heavens. Thanks to him, the sovereigns pass from heaven to earth and vice versa. They are temporary substitutes for the sun to manage life on earth.

 

The tree of life, a mythical symbol, is considered a lucky charm, a talisman that reminds us of where we come from and where we go (we come from Earth to rise to the Heavens).

 

The flower of life, will be the subject of an upcoming article 🙂

 

The tree is charged with symbolism and imbued with divine essence, and with the spark of life that allows it to grow.

 

It is a very recurrent symbol on jewelry, and ARASIA-SHOP hangings for its spiritual aspect, but it is also because very aesthetic.

 

We offer many products wonderfully decorated with trees of life like draperies, pendants, etc …

 

Read our blog article about the Banyans  here .

 

Plant a tree with Arasia and Mass-Education.

 

Mass-Education planted 100,000 trees in Bengal

 

All our reforestation actions

 

Thanks to Stéphanie, a trainee who provided the basis for this article

 

Tibetan bowl: how to make it sing?

The Tibetan bowl is traditionally used for prayer, meditation as well as for holistic therapeutic treatments (healing by sounds).

The best singing bowls are from the Dharamsala/Benares (region in India), and are made of a seven metals alloy: bronze, copper, tin, zinc, iron, silver and gold, which corresponds to the seven planets of the solar system, seven chakras … etc.

The sound is obtained by circular friction of the stick around the bowl to obtain a continuous sound.

How to make your Tibetan bowl sing?

Place the Tibetan bowl flat on your left hand, which must remain flat (the fingers must not touch the bowl). Hold the stick with your right hand, and begin by giving, gently and softly, one or several small blows to make the bowl ring.

Then try to rotate the stick circularly around the bowl by pressing more or less strongly on the bowl.

Dexterity game enthusiasts will enjoy this

You will get a very pure sound that has healing and calming virtues.

The simple fact of making your bowl sing is a meditation in itself, because one has to center oneself and be in the present moment.

This incredibly rich and beautiful sound is actually a harmonic (several notes) sometimes complex, and that is characteristic of each bowl.

The stick can be made of wood or covered with felt for a softer sound.

You can also use a soft mallet to hit the bowl, which will produce a warm bell sound.

The popularity of Tibetan bowls is due to the remarkable sound they produce. They have been an integral part of Asian culture for centuries.

The singing bowls can be decorated with spiritual motifs and symbols (the Om mani padme hum mantra, or carved Buddha).

Arasia sells many Tibetan bowls as well as several models of Tibetan bowls sticks, and Tibetan bowls pads.

HAVE A LOOK ON OUR ONLINE SHOP HERE.

The Yin Yang symbol

Yin et le Yang symbole arasia

Yin and Yang is one of the fundamental symbols of Chinese philosophy.

It refers to the two opposed and complementary principles that characterize the world, for example: good and evil, shadow and light, visible and invisible, material and spiritual, oneself and others …

This duality guarantees the harmony and balance of the universe.

The Yin as a part of Yang and the Yang as a part of Yin as well , they are inseparable.

The Yin is the black part of the symbol and represents the feminine, the night, the moon, the cold, the rest, the immobility and the unconscious.

The Yang, the white part of the symbol and represents the masculine, the energy, the day, the sun, the summer, the warmth, the mobility, the conscious.

Arasia-Shop offers a selection of yin yang products: hangings, rings, incense doors, necklaces … Take a look here

To go further: The五行 Wǔ Xíng or the Five elements here

The Inner Smile

 

Originally an ancient Taoist healing method, the inner smile is an extremely powerful meditation ritual that begins at the level of the eyes to go into all the organs of the body. The Taoists have been using the power of the inner smile for 2500 years.

It can also be seen as a broader concept designating a smiling and positive attitude towards every person and every event in life.

A relaxed smile, inside ourselves, can dispel the fears, tensions and negative emotions of life.

Scientists have shown that the smile releases chemical substances in the brain (serotonin, dopamine and endorphins) that instantly cause well-being.

There is a Chinese saying that says that a smile makes the face breathe.

Smiling is also the opening of the heart, a voluntary action that has the effect of feeling happiness in oneself.

But how to practice the inner smile?

It can be practiced at any time, and the more you practice it, the more it will become natural, as a way of being in the world.

You can close your eyes, but it’s not mandatory. Think of your safe place, become aware of your breathing and the present moment … you are alive, you are happy!

Imagine the corners of your lips which rise slightly. Observe this smile, let the joy invade and spread around you …

You can also visualize someone you love who smiles at you and you smile back.

By smiling at yourself, others and the world, you send out waves of positive energy.

 

“Joy engenders a smile,

And the smile engenders relaxation, calm and joy.

To smile, I do not expect to feel joy;

The feeling of joy can very well be born later.

Being alone in my room, I sometimes smile at myself.

I do it out of kindness to myself, to take care of myself, to give myself love.

I know that if I do not take care of myself, I cannot take care of others. ”

_ Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk for peace

Other quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh

Shiva Nataraja, Lord of dance

The god Shiva is known under numerous names and forms.

One of its forms is Shiva Nataraja. It embodies the cosmic dancer who rhythms the entire universe, alternating phases of creation and destruction.

In Sanskrit, “nata” means “dance” and “raja” stands for “king”.

In India, dance is considered as a means to reach ecstasy and unite with the heavenly. Shiva Nataraja is the dance god and it is worshiped by Hindu’s musicians and dancers.

The Nataraja temple is located in Chidambaram (60km south of Pondicherry) and is entirely dedicated to Shiva. On the stone of the temple is carved Bharata Natyam poses, south Indian sacred classical dance, directly inspired by Shiv sacred dance. The legend goes that this temple was built on the spot where Shiva performed the tandâva in front of the Dârukavana forest’s elders.

The tandâva is “the bliss dance” that endlessly creates and re-creates the universe. This cosmic dance symbolizes the world’s periodic renewal.

To Hindus, dance is older than the world itself because its Shiva’s dance that created the world. To dance is also the grandest way to please the gods. When dancing, one lets their inspiration and creativity and reconcile with the universe’s vibrations.

This facet of Shiva shows its tireless energy – which can be passive or active, static or dynamic with an internal or external focus because what is happening in the universe can also be experienced in the intimacy of one’s being and Nataraja is the cosmic dancer, it is also the god that dance in the hearts of men.

Take a look at our Nataraja statue here

The五行Wǔ Xíng or the Five elements

The wuxing are in China, the five (wu) elements (xing) : an extensive classification system which determines all the elements and phenomena both at a cosmic level than at a human level.

The Five elements (or phases or movements) – along with the fundamental concept of yin and yang and the active principle Qi –make up the core of the traditional Chinese philosophy.

To each of those elements is associated a color, a music note, an organ, a cardinal point, a season, an emotion, etc.

The conceptual scheme of the five elements attempts to give a deep spiritual meaning of the world’s mechanisms and the cycles of life and of the universe. Every existing thing is subjected to the cycles of life and the universe’s and cycles of life and destruction.

The Yin cycle (domination / destruction)

The Wood chokes the Earth

The Earth dries the Water

The Water extinguishes the Fire

The Fire melts the Metal

The Metal slices the Wood.

The Five elements have a certain order. First come the Metal (jin), then the Wood (mu), then the Water (shui), then the Fire (huo) then the Earth (tu).

Those 5 elements interact, complete each other and exist simultaneously together within the cycles of destruction and creation.

The wuxing are defined as raw natural material, each with their own intrinsic dynamic playing a part in the grand scheme of things.

Thus, it is in the Water’s intrinsic nature to flow (downwards) and to wet. It the Fire’s intrinsic nature to rise (upwards) and to burn, the Wood can lie flat or stand tall, the Metal is docile and takes any form its given, the Earth’s primary essence is to be suitable for cultivation and harvesting.

The Chinese theory of the five elements thus succeeded to unify a multitude of different phenomena, to establish inter-relations between them and give them a deep and meaningful meaning within the universe. The constants flows between the elements are to be equilibrated and their energies balanced to prevent any disruption.

If one elements arein excess, its energy will weaken or increase excessively its opposite element. For instance, the excess of energy of the Metal will exhaustthe Wood’s energy and disproportionately raise the Water’s energy.

The right proportion of each elements is primordial to the balance of the universe and the nature’s harmony.

Historical facts:

It appears that the Chinese dynasties have succeeded one another following the succession of the 5 elements or phases. And, each time a new emperor acceded to the throne, heaven sends a good omen to the men.

Therefore, during the Yellow emperor ascension giant earthworms and ants appeared in the sky so the Han dynasty was associated whit the element Earth. Afterwards, the Xia dynasty was associated with the Wood, the Zhou dynasty with the Fire and so on and so forth.

Bhumibol, King of Thaïland

The death of King of Thailand plunged the country into uncertainty.

The king of Thailand RAMA IX aka Bhumibol Adulyadej, was born on December 5, 1927 and died on Thursday, October 13, 2016. He ruled over Thailand for 70 years. His dynasty, the Rama dynasty, succeeded the dynasty of the kings of Ayutthaya and Bangkok was established as the capital of the kingdom in 1782.

Bhumibol is revered like a demigod and his portrait is omnipresent in all homes. 90% of the population had only him as a ruler, he held a central role in the unification of the country.

The designated successor is his only son Maha Vajiralongkorn. He is not very popular because of his erratic personality and lack of commitment. Most Thai people would prefer to see his sister,Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, on the throne

The troubled political context of the country:

After a strong economic growth in the 85’s -95’s, Thailand was among the four dragons of South East Asia, nowadays the country is experiencing a troubled politicalclimate.

The relations between the army, the royalist “yellow shirts” and the pro-democratic “red shirts” are often violent. The country is plagued by coups, internet censorship and the imprisonment of journalists and opponents.

Any unfavorable opinion towards the king or his family is punished as a crime of lese majesty according to the Thai constitution. Its authority and legitimacy are truly immutable. The King is the symbolic father of all Thai people.

By tradition, Father’s Day is set on the king’s birthday (therefore on December 5 since 1946) and it is the same for Mother’s Day.

Following the death of the king, the entire country was grieving. A mourning period of one year was declared after which the new sovereign will be crowned.

I convey my condolences to the Thai people for this difficult moment in their history, which I am sure they will be able to face with the wisdom that characterizes them.