Out of all the countries I’ve been to, there is one country that stands well and truly above the rest when we are talking about having soul. That country is Japan.
Japan is that little country floating off the side of Asia with 127 million people in it. It has as much history as anywhere in the world, and what I believe to be the most interesting.
And from it’s deep history, until now, is pure soul food. Now why do I think that the country is full of soul? Let me explain…
Family is important
I have never been somewhere that cherishes it’s family so much. Often several generations live under the same roof. I love this. This has to be great for the soul. Dinner is always eaten together and lessons are taught from generation to generation. This is so different to the rest of the world, where some grand children may only see their grand parents once a year and the first thing they want is not lessons, but presents!
Japanese itself is a very difficult language to learn. It can take years to master. There are some great language software packages that help make learning Japanese easier and it’s well worth the effort, as it is a beautiful language. The written words of Japanese just makes me feel relaxed. This is especially so when it is written in calligraphy, which is an art form in itself.
Origami paper folding
The Japanese have made an art form for folding paper. Some of the more complex creations can take weeks to learn. They can be ever so intricate. Making these paper creations is very relaxing and lets you be one with yourself.
I’ve already mentioned how important family is to the Japanese. This comes from a strong culture. There is far too much to write about in a 500 word post, but I found a great article that looks in depth about it. Click here for a lot more information.
ZaZen (Zen Meditation) Zen Buddhism
ZaZen has been around for thousands of year and is a meditative discipline typically related to a religious practice. The meaning and method of zazen varies from place to place, but in general it can be regarded as a means of insight into the nature of existence. Zazen is basically just sitting and suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them. It is one of the most relaxing practices once you get the hang of it.