Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Healing Art of Reiki


Reiki is a Japanese type of spiritual practice also used for stress reduction and relaxation. It is a technique that also helps promote healing either for self or for other people. It is characterized as a practice of "laying of hands".



The healing powers of the technique are based on the idea that there is an unseen "life force energy" that flows through each person. This life force is said to be the reason why people are alive. When one's life force energy is low, then people are likely to get sick or feel weak. If the life force is high, people fell healthy and happy.



Reiki is also a form of meditation used as a type of therapy for treating physical, emotional, and mental diseases. The name Reiki is taken from two Japanese characters that describe energy itself. The word "rei", which means "unseen" or "spiritual" and "ki" which means "energy" or "life force" is combined to become Reiki. In English, its meaning is usually given as "universal life energy".


It was Mikao Usui who was known to have developed Reiki in 20th century Japan. Story has it that Usui received the ability of healing after going through three weeks of fasting and meditating on top of Mount Kurama. Practitioners of Reiki use a technique similar to that of the laying on of hands.


This action is said to promote the channeling of "healing energy" to another person. The energy flows through the palms and brings along with it healing powers that can be used for self-treatment as well as for treating others.


Reiki is a simple, natural as well as safe method of dispensing spiritual healing and self-improvement. It is said to be effective in providing alternative treatment for virtually every known illness and malady. Not only that, Reiki also helps create an added beneficial effect, that of spiritual healing. This method is also said to work well when combined with other medical or therapeutic techniques to help relieve side effects and promote recovery.


Reiki, although seen as a very powerful healing technique, is an amazingly simple to learn. Reiki and the ability to use it effectively cannot be taught in the usual sense. The skill is said to be "transferred" to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is not merely learned but is passed on by a Reiki master to the student during a gathering known as "attunement". After the skill has been passed on, it allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of "life force energy" that can then be used to improve one's health and enhance the one's quality of life.


Although the practice of Reiki may be spiritual in nature, it is not considered as a religion. There are no set of beliefs that one should learn about before learning to practice the technique known as Reiki. The practice does not depend on any form of dogma.


It will work whether the student believes it or not. But it is said that the practice of Reiki helps people to keep in touch of their spiritual selves rather than the intellectual concept that it provides.


The practice of Reiki also aims to develop and promote living in harmony with others. Aside from practicing Reiki and its principles, the founder of the Reiki system, Mikao Usui also recommends the practice of simple ethical ideals that can lead to peace and harmony among people. Getting to know what Reiki is may help people not only become a healing channel but also a tool to promote peace among other people.


Visit us at TrainingReiki.com and find out more about the ancient healing art of Reiki, what is a Reiki attunement, how you can obtain a Reiki certification and howReiki crystals can help you.

http://www.bestsyndication.com/?q=node/18291

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Japan, China building stronger ties through art

Norio Sugawara / Yomiuri Shimbun Senior Writer

Cultural exchanges in various fields are recently under way between Japan and China, helping the nations deepen their ties through contemporary art.

The exhibition "Avant-Garde China," to be held until Oct. 20 at the National Art Center, Tokyo, in Roppongi, Minato Ward, Tokyo, is designed to look back at the past 20 years of contemporary Chinese art.

With about 50 important works from contemporary artists on display, the exhibition shows the outline of Chinese art in the post-Cultural Revolution era.

In the past, contemporary Chinese art has been shown in one-person exhibitions or along with other Asian art.

Of the artists often known as the best four painters in China, works of three, including Wang Guangyi, are on display.

Also on display are video documentaries, including footage of radical performance pieces by artists such as Ma Liuming, that describe oppression under China's one-party rule.

The exhibition also includes works created by artists who left the country around the time of the Tiananmen Square Incident in 1989, but it focuses on the works created before they left to emphasize works originating in China.

Among the 14 artists--counting a two-person collaboration as one--and two artistic groups, the exhibition includes artists whose works were deemed immoral and were censored by the authorities around the time of the Tiananmen incident.

The most significant point of the exhibition is that the works are ones Japanese experts wanted to present to the public, rather than those the Chinese wanted to present.

According to spokesmen for the National Art Center, Tokyo, and the National Museum of Art, Osaka, which organized the exhibition, the Chinese sounded out the possibility of jointly organizing the exhibition.

Fearful of not being able to select the works it wanted to display, the Japanese side declined the joint approach and collected works directly from artists living in China and from museums and art galleries, both inside and outside China.

Consequently, the Japanese organizers had to spend extra time and money on such tasks as clearing customs to bring the works into Japan. Thanks to these efforts, the organizers were able to hold an exhibition "with contents that met our standards," as Akira Tatehata, director of the National Museum of Art, Osaka, put it.

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu's displayed collaborative work, "Home for the Aged," featured resin images of elderly people in wheelchairs, highlighting the aging society issue.

The duo, who came to Japan while the exhibition was being held, described the environment surrounding the art scene in China, saying: "No country gives its people unlimited freedom. We've presented our works in a closed-door, underground setting, but today we can exhibit our works with more freedom than ever before.

"Whether or not people really understand what we intended to create, we're becoming more popular."

Cultural interactions are deepened when we really understand our partners and the exhibition deserves some credit for the recent increase in art exchanges between Japan and China.
Six years ago, the Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, based in Ginza, Tokyo, opened a gallery in Beijing. In spring this year, two other Japanese galleries opened in Beijing.

One of the two, the Mizuma Art Gallery, based in Meguro Ward, Tokyo, opened a gallery in Caochangdi, Beijing, promoting the works of young Japanese artists such as Makoto Aida and Akira Yamaguchi.

Sueo Mizuma, who owns the gallery, said, "There are a number of foreign galleries, including first-class galleries from New York, that have opened branches in Beijing, and attracted visitors from all over the world.

"From this enthusiasm, I knew by intuition that Beijing would become the center of the art scene in Asia. In the past, Japanese artists headed for Europe and the United States to pursue success, but in the years ahead their success in China will open their way to the world, I think," he said.
The other Japanese gallery in Beijing is Wada Fine Arts, based in Tsukiji, Chuo Ward, Tokyo.

Yumie Wada, the gallery's owner, said, "We started our trading with people who came to our shop in Beijing from Indonesia and Singapore. While our headquarters are in Tokyo, our Beijing branch is serving as a key showcase."

Galleries from other Asian countries have also opened branches in China. A leading gallery in Seoul held an exhibition of contemporary Japanese art at its Beijing branch, selling almost all the works put on sale, this year and last year.

A gallery based in Taipei plans to hold a one-person exhibition of a young Japanese painter at its branch in Shanghai, indicating that Beijing is not the only place where foreign galleries are opening in China.

In China, taxes of more than 30 percent are to be imposed on imported art works and their trading. On the other hand, foreigners can enjoy lower office rent and labor costs to operate their galleries.

When it comes to art auctions in recent years, the rapidly rising prices of Chinese art have sparked interest among collectors in works created in neighboring countries, in particular, those paintings created by young Japanese artists.

Now that the Beijing Olympics are over, and with the Chinese economy losing steam, changes that could impact the art scene there are expected. Yet, there are likely to be between Japan and China a growing number of exchanges of contemporary art that promote democracy and freedom in the years ahead.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/features/culture/20080911TDY04304.htm

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Origami



Origami is the ancient art of Japanese paper folding, an art form spanning over 1,000 years.
A folk art, a creative art, a mathematical puzzle, a game-- all of these terms describe origami. Some people are attracted to origami for its simplicity, while others marvel at the minds of people who can devise the patterns for such ingenious creations. Some look to origami as a way to entertain, while others find it has a calming, relaxing effect.

Origami is unique among paper crafts in that it requires no materials other than the paper itself. Cutting, gluing, or drawing on the paper is avoided, using only paper folding to create the desired result. No special skills or artistic talent are needed for origami, although a good amount of patience and perseverance are very helpful. Models can be folded by following instructions exactly. Experimenting with different folds may lead to a totally new, original paper-fold.

The word "origami" comes from the Japanese language. "Ori" means folded and "kami" means paper. Paper-folding as a traditional folding art pervaded the Japanese culture more strongly than any other. But traditional paper-folding did not exist in Japan alone.

Papermaking was developed in China two thousand years ago but the Chinese did not readily share this knowledge. It eventually traveled to Korea and then Japan by the seventh century. This "trade secret" then spread in the direction of the Arab world, reaching Spain by the twelfth century.

Origami was first practiced in the Japanese imperial Court, where it was considered an amusing and elegant way of passing the time. Over the centuries the skill has been passed down to ordinary people, who took it up with enthusiasm and made it into the folk art that it is today. Today in Japan the art of paper-folding is as widely practiced by children, parents and grandparents as it was centuries ago. And for a number of years now origami has been immensely popular here in the western world.

During this journey, did simple paper-folding spread with the knowledge of papermaking? Or did each country independently discover that paper could not only be written and drawn on, but manipulated into forms? Despite the fact that some traditional models from different paper-folding traditions are similar, most people believe that each tradition developed its own paper-folding ideas.

Creative Paper-folding:

Today, origami is an international creative pastime. Building upon the basics of the traditional designs, many folders follow the creative path of leaders such as Master Akira Yoshizawa and philosopher Miguel de Unanmuno, devising their own new designs. The repertoire of a couple hundred traditional folds in the beginning of the twentieth century has grown to over tens of thousands now with endless number yet to be discovered.

Originally considered a child's activity origami now attracts the interest of mathematicians, engineers, scientists, computer programmers, college professors and professional artists. It is an art form than can be practiced by preschoolers to senior citizens, those who are hospitalized, handicapped, or blind, those who wish to share a craft with a group of friends, and those who wish to explore the infinite possibilities of paper-folding.

This excerpt is taken from The Art of Origami by Gay Merrill Gross.