Posts Tagged ‘zen inspired living’

What is a Japanese Noren?

Friday, October 14th, 2016

A noren is a traditional Japanese door curtain or Japanese fabric divider.  They are hung in doorways, windows or even to conceal a hall or storage closet. Most feature a sleeve along the top for a curtain rod or bamboo rod for easy hanging.  The most common noren is rectangular, but you can also find ‘half door’ or ‘top door’ noren for specialized styles.  Noren normally have a slit that runs from the bottom to nearly the top. This makes it easier to pass through the curtain.

These Japanese dividers may be used to enhance any room or doorway.  Noren are also used professionally in business. Restaurants and small businesses use these in doorways to help keep out dust or as a buffer against the sun. Business owners often print their name and logo on these to draw more attention to their place. Outdoor noren used in businesses allow customers to know if the business is open or closed. The curtains are hung in the morning when they open and taken down at the end of the day when they close their shops.  These are popular in Asian restaurants to separate the kitchen and dining room.  Noren softens noise and can trap odors in the kitchen.

Noren are available in many styles and patterns including written kanji or calligraphy, fish, birds, poems, temples, mountains, scenery, characters and people.  Chopa Zen Home recently added several new patterns.  Our favorite is the Kinkaku-ji Temple noren. The Kinkaku-ji temple (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) resides in Kyoto, Japan and was built to house Buddhist relics.  Across the water, an elegant Maiko (Geisha trainee) strolling the garden has stopped to admire the temple. You will enjoy the vivid colors and symbolic designs of this noren. This noren is made by artisans in Japan.

Japanese noren curtain

Noren – Kinkakuji Temple

Warren Buffett and Ben Franklin did this….

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Nothing creative will come out of your efforts if you don’t allow your best ideas to incubate.

Follow the lead of Warren Buffett and allow time for quiet reading and thinking everyday.

It is recommended to devote at least one hour daily to learning, as Ben Franklin did.

Can’t find the time?  While you’re commuting or en route to meetings, stay off the phone and listen to a podcast or contemplate what you’ve been reading.

how to meditate

Stop and meditate

You’ll be surprised by what comes out of your brain if you give it a rest sometimes.

This sounds similar to spending time each day meditation.  Learn about the benefits of meditation and positive thinking.

 

 

 

Thanks to Fortune

Practicing Zen Meditation Techniques

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

How do you meditate?  Do you practice Zen meditation techniques? Many folks need a Zen meditation guide. If you are one of them, you may find the following meditation tips helpful. To gain the most benefits of meditation, we should try to make it a habit. Zen meditation for beginners takes practice and even experienced practitioners seek to improve with meditation exercises. To meditate more naturally & effectively, here are some beginning meditation tips.

Start slowly –

Begin Zen meditation with just a few minutes and gradually increase your time.  How do you know when your Zen meditation time is up?  To avoid looking at a clock to check the time, set a meditation timer or bell to sound the end of your meditation session. Use of meditation timers or bells enhances concentration for all types of meditation.  Some practitioners start by ringing a meditation bell and let the sound carry them into a quiet state.

Set a mediation time –

For successful mindful meditation, set a specific time each day to meditate.  Many practitioners say the best time to meditate is the first thing in the morning.  One of the best Zen meditation techniques is to commit to a regular time for one month and it will become a habit.

Maintain Correct Posture –

Posture is an important part of Zen meditation. Whether you sit on a mediation bench, mat or meditation cushion, you want to be comfortable, with your back and your head up. As body & mind connect, good posture helps create perfect mind-body balance.  Use of good meditation cushions will improve your posture, especially with regular meditation exercises.

Use a Comfortable Zafu and Zabuton –

When practicing Zen meditation, use a comfortable meditation cushion such as a Zafu and Zabuton. They help maintain correct posture to you can focus on spiritual enlightenment.

A sacred space –

Many practitioners set up a meditation room with comfortable meditation cushions, a meditation bell or timer, prayer shawls and incense sticks.

Breathe –

While practicing Zen meditation techniques, count your breath starting at “one” as you inhale through your nose and “two” as you exhale.  Count to ten and repeat starting over again.   Do not worry if your mind wanders, let this breathing technique bring it back into focus.

Burning incense –

Certain kinds of incense can produce a very calming effect. We can quickly develop positive associations with a particular scent, allowing the mind to quiet and a retreat-like atmosphere settle around us.  Some of the best incense for meditation is sandalwood for grounding and relaxing, patchouli to lift your spirits, amber for elevation and letting go, and frankincense for centering and purifying.meditation-enlightenment

Love yourself –

During your meditation exercise welcome your thoughts and feelings as friends, they are a part of you.  There is no “doing it wrong”!  You are getting to know yourself.  When you finish a mindfulness meditation session, smile!  Be grateful for any amount of time you take for yourself.  You are on a path to spiritual enlightenment.

If you need high-quality products to ensure a successful Zen meditation session, visit Chopa.com now. On this popular online store, you can find a wide range of products, like Zen Books, Zen CDs, books on meditation, prayer shawls, meditation timers, meditation cushions, incense sticks, meditation bells, mala beads, meditation mats and more. Visit http://www.chopa.com

Three Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Relationship

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

If you’re wondering how you can improve your relationship with your partner, here are some tips to start now. If you already have a loving relationship, these principles can help maintain the magnitude of a loving relationship by allowing growth on many levels. So get your partner & begin today.

1. Principles to Reinforce Your Partnership

The first of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga are the Yamas. These encompass universal morality and respect for all living things, or Ahimsa (non violence). This means that kindness and friendliness should be exhibited in all situations dealing with living beings. Kindness is contagious, and if you’re able to treat complete strangers with empathy and respect, it will be that much easier to do the same with your partner.

Deceit and lies are two common elements of bad marriages and relationships. They’re detrimental in broken relationships and have the potential to shatter the love. Satya refers to speaking the truth as long as it does not hurt someone. When combined with Ahimsa, honesty trumps deliberate deception. For instance, telling your partner about an extra-marital affair would be extremely hurtful, but carrying on a fake relationship is harmful to all, including the third party individual.

Aparigraha is the Yamas principle that encourages divestment of materialism. Hoarding wealth beyond what you and your family need implies a self-centeredness that is inherently detrimental to relationships. Buy a homeless person a meal if you can afford it or help someone in need. Furthermore, gifts for your partner should be about the thought as opposed to the long-term value. For example, buying flowers or treating your partner to his or her favorite meals create lasting memories without the acquisition of material things.

2. Sexual Vitality

A 2013 study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science found that participants in long-term relationships were motivated to have an intimate relationship because it was important to their partner. In other words, people will be intimate even when they don’t want to if it makes their significant other happy. Granted, waiting in the beginning of a relationship can help to strengthen emotional bonds and commitment to one another, but a major challenge in long-term relationships is keeping everything interesting and fresh. And that’s where yoga comes into play.

A 2010 study published by the Harvard Medical School found that women experienced more pleasure and arousal after 12 weeks of yoga practice. Psychology Today cited a study from a yoga camp that found men ages 24 to 60 experience similar benefits after several yoga sessions. A yoga date every week can only improve your relationship it seems!

3. Shape Up

A study by yogi Alan Kristal and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that people who did one yoga session per week for four years lost five pounds versus the non-yogis who gained 14 pounds. Kristal credited yoga’s mind-body principles, which helped change the participants’ relationship with food and eating. Yoga also can help you quit smoking and get better sleep at night. Both will promote healthier looking skin, whiter smiles and positive emotions; all of which will help build your confidence in relationships.

Yoga connects you with the truths of the here and now. Likewise the focus of healthy relationships is the present, not the past or future. Incorporating yoga into your regular life ensures beautiful memories with your partner and promotes a future of love and commitment. And all of us can use love as a catalyst for growth on many levels.

Isn’t to day a good day to begin? Let yoga make Love!

~Brian Wilkinscy

3 things to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed by life

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

We all experience moments when we feel overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities. Perhaps we’ve just got a new job and we’re worried about learning all our new tasks and impressing our boss, or maybe we just had a baby and find ourselves knee-deep in dirty diapers, we haven’t slept in a week and the laundry has formed a small mountain in the bathroom. Sometimes we simply feel overwhelmed by the seriousness of daily life without being able to pinpoint exactly what is causing the most stress. Taking responsibility and learning to balance the ebb and flow of daily life is the reason we come to our yoga mat each day. Bringing those lessons off the mat is necessary to reap the benefits of our practice in everyday life.

The reality is that whether we’ve been practicing yoga for 20 years or only started last week, each one of us at one time or another will find ourselves paralyzed by that sense of overwhelm. It’s part of the modern human condition, but also a reason to put the lessons learned on the mat into daily life.

To help us all get through these moments, here are 3 things you can do anytime and anywhere when you’re feeling paralyzed by overwhelm:

  1. Take a mindfulness pause

Stop whatever it is you are doing, including obsessive thinking and worrying and come into the present moment. Look around at what’s happening right now wherever you are…the trees moving in the breeze, the traffic passing my, the people chatting at nearby tables or working at office desks. Alternatively, close your eyes and notice how your breath continues to rise and fall like the waves of the ocean. Ever tried to do tree pose while thinking about what to make for dinner? A mindfulness pause is an anchor where you can find stillness within yourself and a place of balance within yourself.

  1. Make a list of the 3 most important tasks

On your smartphone or in your agenda (I’m a post-it kind of girl myself!) list the 3 most important or most urgent tasks. Perhaps these will be the only 3 things you accomplish today out of the thousand you have swimming in your mind but by breaking the overwhelming “to do” list down into a first small group of 3, you lighten the weight and are more like to get them done. No use kicking up into handstand without checking shoulder stability, the core, and drishti so break down the big jobs into little pieces in the same way.

  1. Practice non-judgement and self-forgiveness

These go hand in hand for me. Before, during and after all your tasks, be kind to yourself, release self-judgement and forgive yourself for those judgements you’ve been making about feeling overwhelmed. We can not go back and change the past, but what happens in the present moment creates our future. No action is too small a seed to plant for tomorrow. How many times do we notice judgemental thoughts during asana practice or seated meditation? We train ourselves on the mat to observe, yet continue. A little extra non-judgement and self-forgiveness off the mat today creates a stable foundation from which we can continue getting things done.

Feeling overwhelmed is a sign to step back a moment, before either coming to a complete stop or simply going forward on autopilot. Once we take a moment to realign ourselves and identify our main objectives, we can move forward knowing that we are putting the lessons learned on the mat into practice in our daily lives.Overwhelmed

-Roanna Weiss

10 Startling Facts About Fast Food

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

fasAfter reading this you may never want to eat at a fast “food” restaurant again, these incredible but true facts are enough to make many avoid these places for good! Here are 10 disgusting facts about fast food!

1. McDonald’s strawberry milkshakes utilize a ridiculous concoction of 50 chemicals including ethyl acetate, phenethyl alcohol, and solvent to imitate the flavor of real strawberries.

2. Chicken? More like a disgusting sludge of pink paste- it goes through a chemical process causing excessive bacteria, so it’s washed in ammonia then re-flavored with more chemicals and dyed. You may want to think twice before ordering nuggets, tenders, or other chicken bites.

3. The average fast food patron eats 12 pubic hairs in a given year.

4. The FDA approves an average of 30 insect fragments, including rodent hair, per 100 grams of peanut butter.

5. Shellac is used to enhance the shine of wooden furniture, but you can also find it in your delicious jellybeans, it’s used to improve the shine.

6. The FDA approved the use of bacteriophages on processed food like lunch meat and hot dogs.

7. Each can of coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, much more than what your body can process in a day, another additive, called phosphoric acid, cuts the level of sugar so that you don’t vomit automatically after drinking a can.

8. Fast food’s ‘healthiest’ choice is a salad packed with antifreeze’s chemical compound, Propylene Glycerol, which causes eye and skin irritation.

9. Many fast food chicken items contain beef additives, listed as extract or essence, used to enhance flavor and change health statistics.

10. Any cheese product labeled as processed is packed with additives, chemicals, and flavoring, it’s actually 49% of the product, half of the product has nothing to do with cheese.

~ Source: Positivemed

Five ways to get fit & lose weight with housework

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

In a gym rut? Too cold to run outside? Unmotivated with your fitness? It happens. Fortunately, you can still manage to keep up with a yogic lifestyle, burn calories and get the heart pumping right at home — without exercising…yes, indeed with your housework! Here’s how to clean up the house and get chores done while working the bod at the same time.

Yoga-Inspired Chores

35 is known for not only being a yogi, but a yogi who practices yoga anywhere, anytime, even during housework. The wife of Alec Baldwin, yoga instructor and mom can be found posing around the home while cooking, ironing or doing laundry. And Hilaria shares all of it on her Instagram account @hilariabaldwin. In utkata konasana, Hilaria waters her plant in the sink. She loads the dishwasher with dirty dishes posing in a variation of vasisthasana. Even the dreaded ironing gets done while in gorakshasana. Give your yoga mat a break, and call yoga chores wellness multitasking at its best. Tackle the to-do list while relaxing the body and settling the mind? Easy.

Car Maintenance

Rather than spend $15 at the car spa to make your car look pristine, clean it yourself at home and burn some extra calories. Washing, drying and waxing your car by hand can get you moving and work up a sweat. Don’t forget to wash the windows and tires with special cleaners as well. “Wash your car regularly,” recommends The Art of Manliness. Using your biceps to clean car surfaces prevents corrosion from elements like sun, grease, grime, acid rain and dead bugs. Also, declutter, tidy up and vacuum the interior as a workout bonus.

Carpet Cleaning

To some people, vacuuming is practically a recreational activity and making straight carpet lines is like creating a proud masterpiece. To others, vacuuming is a dreaded chore that happens once every six months to a year, if that. Up and down the stairs lugging the vacuum. The dog barks and attacks the machine with such abhorrence. It’s laborious, and not a good time. But vacuuming can actually burn on average 238 calories, which is equal to the number of calories in a french fry order. Boost your calorie burn (and make your carpet look spotless) by removing stains and giving your carpet a deep clean.

Washing Dishes

You have friends over, which means it’s time to start training for this epic moment of the dinner aftermath! The dirty plates. The clean up. Washing dishes serves dual after-dinner purposes. Not only are you cleaning up, you’re standing up and moving around, which aids the food coma. Washing dishes can burn 85 calories in a half hour. In holiday dinner terms for example, 85 calories is most likely not much compared to how much you ate. But the chore can earn you an afternoon nap.

Chopping Wood

As you mimic Hilaria’s yoga moves around the house, invite your man to get fit with housework too. Greatist.com lists chopping wood as a heart-pumping way to strength train outside the gym. In time, the rugged outdoors and arduous task of wood chopping will transform him right into Paul Bunyan, really. Hauling and splitting firewood is a killer workout, and swaying the heavy ax just looks good. One hour of muscle-building lumberjack work can burn up to 500 calories. And wood isn’t the only thing getting carved. He’ll carve his core, arms and back with every piece of chopped firewood and your fire place will look stunning this winter!

By Abby Terlecki

 

Astrology Soul Coach, July 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

“Go big or go home!”

No, you are not imagining there is a voice within that is screaming now is the time; if you’ve got it flaunt it; or some similar refrain. This month Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system (not including the Sun) leaves family and home-oriented Cancer for the drama and spotlight of Leo. Jupiter changes signs once a year so this is a significant shift in universal energies when the big daddy of them all moves into fiery and self-expressive Leo on July 16th. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and represents how we move past limitations and boundaries. With Jupiter in Leo we are being called to more leadership, self-confidence, generosity, visibility and authenticity. Remember that last one. Leo is nothing if not authentic. Leo loves to shine and is one of the more flamboyant, romantic and playful of the signs.

While Jupiter is in Leo we expand ourselves and enrich our lives when we take risks in the direction of our dreams; accept we were born to light up the planet; and are willing to be great at what we do. Greatness is lurking inside everyone – have you found yours? For more inspiration consider the lion – proud, confident and self-assured. The following people were born when Jupiter was highlighted in Leo, Bill Gates, Mick Jagger, Bette Davis, Jim Morrison, Yo-Yo Ma, George Lucas, Elizabeth Taylor, Edward Kennedy, Diana Ross, Jimmy Stewart and Eleanor Roosevelt. (Just to name a few!)

This year isn’t about being ostentatious, prideful, or acting superior. It’s about understanding we are each fabulous and spectacular in our own unique and individual way. Find that way and live it.

leoThis is a year to be more visible, more authentic and have a great time doing it!

 Quote of the month: “Be not afraid of Greatness.” William Shakespeare

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, animal communicator, writer, speaker and coach. You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a weekly Astrology radio show, “Simpletales”, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern and can be also be heard on “A Course In Miracles with C.A. Brooks” on Fridays at 8am Pacific – 11 Eastern.

ca@cabrooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2

Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Panama City Beach Award Program Honors the Achievement

PANAMA CITY BEACH April 24, 2014 — Chopa Zen Home and Gift has been selected for the 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award in the Online Retailer category by the Panama City Beach Award Program.

Each year, the Panama City Beach Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Panama City Beach area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Panama City Beach Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Panama City Beach Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Panama City Beach Award Program

The Panama City Beach Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Panama City Beach area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Panama City Beach Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Panama City Beach Award Program

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Best online Retailer Award

Best online Retailer Award

Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for June 2014

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

In a relatively quiet month at the cosmic dance, one event stands out – a three week Mercury retrograde pattern that starts on Saturday June 7th. This week as an important file magically disappeared from my computer and SKYPE seemed arbitrarily to quit working, I felt the shadow of mass consciousness sneaking up behind me. Having been born when Mercury was traveling backwards, I look forward to them. Generally my experience is one of finding lost items, realizing solutions that evaded me previously, and feeling extraordinarily connected to my intuition.

In thinking about this upcoming cycle and knowing that many people dread them superstitiously like a bad urban myth, I came upon this quote from Albert Einstein, ‘A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.’  It got me thinking about how we humans are often adverse to taking a risk or making a mistake. That certainly didn’t stop Thomas Edison who is famous for saying ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. These creative geniuses had a knack for finding value in every twist, turn and detour. I can’t imagine a little ole Mercury retrograde would have provoked anything but wonder in their minds. 

When the thinking planet of communication does a turnabout, who is to say that the new perspective is not actually the right one? So what if our carefully laid plans get changed? It wouldn’t be so bad to get bumped up to first class on your flight, would it?

Mercury retrograde patterns are times to review, re-evaluate, renew, renovate, restore, refurbish, and re-group. This one which involves both emotional Cancer and mentally dexterous Gemini gives us the opportunity to better integrate our intuition. In fact, many people report, they feel more closely aligned with inner guidance; and experience more synchronicity when Mercury appears to be moving backwards. Open your heart and mind to the wonders of thinking differently. Dare to believe that your life is unfolding perfectly according to right timing.

Quote of the month: Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. (A Course in Miracles)

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, animal communicator, writer, speaker and coach. You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a weekly Astrology radio show, “Simpletales”, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern and can be heard on her new show, “A Course In Miracles with CA Brooks” on Fridays at 8am Pacific – 11 Eastern.

ca@cabrooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks22