What is Zen philosophy all about?

Written by Julia Ruston

Zen: have you ever wondered what this word means? Having become an umbrella concept for a kind of oriental lifestyle and aesthetic, the true meaning of Zen is much more profound and mystical than its use in the mainstream culture. For starters, Zen is a form of spiritual philosophy and means “meditation” in Japanese. The philosophy is part of a school of Buddhism called Mahayana Buddhism which emphasizes practical and experiential wisdom instead of the study of philosophical and religious texts. The purpose of Zen is the realization of the self and its practice requires the direct experience of the self as the only viable way to manifest one’s nature.

This article will take you through the history and distinctive features of Zen philosophy. It will give you some ideas on how to apply its teachings to improve our mental and physical health and how to live a more fulfilling life.

The History behind Zen Philosophy

So… let’s go back to where the Zen philosophy started. Historically, Zen is a branch of Buddhism which developed in India around 2500 years ago and then came to China 500 years after. It received its name “Zen” once it arrived in Japan 1000 years later. Although its focus is on self-reflection and realization by transforming the psychological structure of the mind, it is also deeply rooted in the teachings of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama.

The Principles of Zazen

You may be asking yourself: But how are you supposed to achieve self-realization? Well, Zen philosophy fundamental practice is zazen or as we commonly know it, meditation. Zazen is founded on the seated posture, where Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment. It is also founded on the elements of mindfulness, which are part of the fundamental teaching of the Buddha known as the Eightfold Path. Zazen is a prioritized daily practice, but it is also important for Zen philosophy to practice as part of a group in order to communicate and grow from each other’s perceptions and points of view. Usually, this group experience centers around a Zen teacher who guides the pupils through meditations and scripture study as well as performing certain rituals.

Zen in the modern world

Now how does this tie in with Zen living nowadays and especially in modern society? 

Well, since Zen living is all about living in harmony with our true essence and cultivates intuitive wisdom, we should use this wisdom to bring peace and harmony to this world. As one renowned Zen teacher puts this: We should live life through Zen. Philip Kapleau refers to Zen as “a one-pointed aware mind; of a disciplined life of simplicity and naturalness as against a contrived and artificial one; of a life compassionately concerned with our own and the world’s welfare and not self-centered and aggressive. A life, in short, of harmony with the natural order of things and not in constant conflict with it.”

How to apply to our everyday life

To achieve this, take note of these small tips on how to create a more present and meaningful life! It will help you to stop and fully embrace your existence since we are usually just doing things non-stop and we find ourselves caught up in our heads with a million worries and thoughts at once.

  1. Live mindfully: Although mindfulness has been a buzz word recently, it truly is crucial and usually lacking in our current lifestyle. Being fully aware and present in each moment can help you cultivate this awareness and lead to living a more peaceful and harmonious life. It’s all about enjoying and fully living the moment, whether that having fun with our family or cleaning the toilet, as long as we are trying not to ruminate or worry about a future meeting at work.
  1. The more simple and natural, the better! Understanding that less is more and being aware of how this affects the state of our mind as well as accepting things fully as they come or “going with the flow of things” so to speak.
  1. Be compassionate and loving: We should be concerned for our own well-being as well as the well-being of all other beings and place this as a priority.

Now that you know a bit about the background of Zen philosophy and some small tips on how to incorporate this way of living into your life, I hope you can see that Zen philosophy is much more than just an aesthetic and is a truly powerful mindset. I’m sure we have all felt like we need a little more Zen in our life at some point and by that, I mean nearly every day!

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Wuxia: Martial Heroes and Chinese Literature

Written by Tom

What is Wuxia?

Wuxia 武俠, literally translated as ‘martial heroes’, is a long-established Chinese literary genre that can be traced back to ancient Chinese history and continues to be produced today. The stories are most often set in fantastical pre-modern Chinese historical settings, generally during times of significant social or political upheaval. The historic events of these periods are sometimes relied on heavily as plot points, and other times merely provide a backdrop for the novel’s story. The plot normally follows a male protagonist who suffers a life-changing hardship during his childhood, such as the death of his family, and goes on to learn martial arts from various martial trainers. He eventually becomes a powerful martial artist who is capable of vindicating himself and his family.

Martial prowess and supernatural ability are blended together in wuxia. Photo credit to Charlein Gracia on Unplash.

Typically, the protagonist follows the code of xia 俠 which is composed of two main virtues: yi 義 ‘rightenousness’ and xin 信 ‘honour’. Benefactors are repaid, revenge is dissuaded, and loyalty to the teacher shifu 師父 is cherished above all else. This code of xia exists outside the bounds of the law of the land; it is instead a set of moral principles or a way of life. This is often referred to as jianghu 江湖: literally meaning ‘lakes and rivers’, the term was first used by a scholar during the Warring States period for those people who deliberately distanced themselves from politics. Those martial artists that refuse to abide by xia and take the power of martial arts for personal use are often the antagonists of wuxia novels.

Wuxia are not only limited to literature, but are also a popular form of television drama. These are often produced with huge budgets and an all star cast.

Protagonists and antagonists in wuxia novels will typically possess a number of skills and abilities. Neigong 内功 or ‘internal ability’ is the ability to channel internal energy or qi 氣 around one’s body, enabling characters to resist poisons and to gain superhuman strength and speed. Dianxue 點穴 is the ability to touch your opponent on certain vulnerable points to cause paralysis or even death. This is related to the art of acupuncture that is still popular today. Many characters combine hand-to-hand combat with weapons: popular in wuxia novels are the sword dao 刀, the staff gun 棍 and the spear qiang 槍.

In wuxia novels neigong is commonly channeled by sitting or lying down and concentrating on the movement of energy throughout one’s body. 

The Legend of the Condor Heroes

One of the most famous wuxia novels, and my personal favourite, is Jin Yong’s The Legend of the Condor Heroes 射鵰英雄傳. Set during the Jin-Song wars (1125-1234) the story follows the protagonist Guo Jing, whose family are killed fighting invading Jurchen forces, and who is trained in martial arts by a group of masters known as ‘the seven freaks of Jiangnan.’ The antagonist, Yang Kang, was also orphaned by the Jurchen, but is instead adopted into a Jurchen aristocratic family and learns martial arts to assist the Jurchen’s conquest of Song China. Both learn from a variety of masters, acquire romantic partners, and fight against a variety of opponents while travelling across China. It is a real page turner, with each chapter bringing new twists and turns to the plot.

This image depicts one of the earlier encounters in Condor Heroes between patriots Yang Tiexin and Guo Xiaotian and the Taoist Qiu Chuji, a real historical figure.

Impact

Jin Yong’s Condor Heroes was nothing sort of a cultural phenomenon in China. Numerous films and television series were made and continue to be made depicting the story of Guo Jing and Yang Kang. Comics, video games and music have also been created for the story. Jin Yong proved that, although the genre of wuxia is extremely old, it can still be popular in the modern era. In addition to this, Anna Holmwood is currently translating into English each section of Condor Heroes, releasing one book per year. Could this be the start of an international wuxia revolution?

Statue of Guo Jing at the Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars, Kowloon Park, Hong Kong.

About Interact China 

Shape

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

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P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Medicating by Meditating: healing spirit and body with TCM

Written by Maria

If you live in a concrete jungle like London, New York or Hong Kong, you are certainly very familiar with stress, anxiety, and pollution that negatively impact the quality of your life. Your tight schedule makes you feel like everyday is the same as the day before. All this planning in advance causes an amount of stress that it gets harder and harder to bear. You feel like you’re about to crush and then it is Friday again. A pub crawl on Friday, some laundry on Saturday, and a lazy Sunday. Of course it will happen that some weekends are more exciting than others, but some are just extra hours of work. If you are lucky you will spend them on a Ryanair cheap flight towards an unknown small town where they barely understand you and you barely understand them. And it is Monday again. How to get out from this ordinary nightmare?

As I see it, we are all left with 2 options. We move to a desert island and leave it all behind. But what about your friends, your family, and all your fancy clothes? Also, human are after all social animals, we really need people to get by. And some pets too. And a sofa. Fortunately, there is another option. It only takes 5 to 20 minutes a day and, once again, it comes from the Far, far East. Just Meditate. Mind I said “Meditate”, not “Think”. Think involves our brain to function in a certain way: to formulate hypothesis, to plan, to take decisions, to supress our emotions. It involves stress. We have just agreed that we want to get away from that. So, what is meditation?

Origins

Meditation is a practice which involves full concentration, awareness of oneself and one’s surrounding, and the aim is to reach stillness of the mind and a deep status of mind-body relaxation to prepare it. In a way, meditation is the opposite of thinking, because we want to observe our thoughts, physical and emotional senses, as they were pictures in our minds.

Rooted in Hinduist tradition and dating back as far as 4,000 years ago, meditation arrived in China with the diffusion of Buddhism, although meditative practices are also very common in the Taoist tradition. 

In Chinese Traditional Medicine, Meditation has developed as a crucial as Acupuncture and a balanced diet, to favours the correct flow of Qi within and without body and mind.

Be Still: Meditation and Movement

In terms of techniques, stillness can mean many things. Stillness is about the mind, and it doesn’t necessarily imply that you only meditate in static positions, like laying down on the floor or sitting in a lotus pose with your legs crossed.

Yoga is a very popular choice. In Chinese tradition, Tai Chi and Qigong are the most common meditative movement practices. Apt for all ages and bodies, they engage in a sequence of slow, mindful bodily movements, to enhance balance, bodily control and breath. Such practices are great for your health, particularly for your muscular tone and your back.

To some meditation sceptics…

Now I can hear some of you saying ‘Do you seriously want to make me believe that if I lay down and tell myself not to think I will not think anymore? And isn’t it thinking about not thinking a thought anyway?’

See, that is the problem. A good meditator is one that focuses only on his breath. He does not impose himself what to think, he is not judgmental of losing his focus from time to time. When it happens, it only accepts it and comes back to his breath. It takes some time practice and time to appreciate the positive results of meditation. Some of us just call it patience. I prefer to call it commitment.

About patience…

‘What if I fall asleep while I am meditating?’, or ‘How can I not think not to fall, if I am standing upside down in a very odd Yoga position?’ are other kind of concerns. Well, if you fall asleep, you reached your purpose: certainly you have gotten relaxed, although you should maybe work on your awareness, trying to counting your breath to keep your mind active, though even and stable. Same when your practicing Tai Chi or Yoga. Just focus on your breath and keep tracking of your movement through inhalation and exhalation: it will naturally relaxing your muscles, thus encouraging a better withstanding of the pose; also, it will keep you distracted from feeling challenged, unbalanced, by the position, pain, stretch etc.

Meditation as Medication in Chinese and Worldwide Culture

Meditation practices spread throughout all the East because of their link to the Buddhist tradition, and were used as a form of healing alternative to religious rituals and conventional medicaments. Still today, especially in ethnic populations there is a diffuse belief that bodily illness is only a physical manifestation of spiritual illness, caused by a bad thought, evil demons, etc.

But apart from the mystic side of meditation, its benefits are undeniable. As I mentioned already, meditation is an engaging practice, which trains our minds to control emotions and impulses in a healthy way, without ignoring or supressing them. It helps keeping an even attitude through stressful times, or to certain emotionally-charging events in our lives. And it is commonly known that a calmer temper is good to keep our blood pressure steady, our heart rate at ease, and our anxiety and sleepless nights only a bad memory.

Not convinced yet? Based on Eastern practice of Meditation, the ‘Iceman’ Wim Hof (among his Guinness World Record gestures: a barefoot half-marathon on ice and snow, a swimming several times half-naked under the ice for more than 110 minutes) developed a method to defeat our human frailty and enhance our resilience through the power of our minds and breath.

Personally, I am a big fan of Wim and can’t wait to join one of his crazy expeditions. But many of you may disagree. Believe it or not, scientists and doctors still pop their eyes in front of his extraordinary, super-manly health conditions. It’s not about magic, it’s just about commitment. Meditation is a way of life. To keep a steady mind clears the view from dusty confusion, facilitates decision, increases our self-esteem. It is not a surprise that there is a corporate trend to integrate yoga and similar practices in their employee schemes.

So what are you waiting for? Close your eyes and just breathe.

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Pig-In The Chinese New Year: Happy 2019!

Written by Maria Giglio

As you probably already know, on Tuesday 5th February in China and among Chinese communities around the globe started the celebration of the new Lunar Year, aka Spring Festival. The festival will last for the next few weeks, following the Lunar Calendar. Each year is represented by a Zodiac animal and 2019 is the year of the Pig.

In the traditional Chinese Calendar years follow a sexagenary cycle named Ganzhi. This 60-year system features a combination between 10 Tiangan (heavenly stems) and 12 Dizhi (earthly branches). Each year is then determined by – and named after –a pair of stem and branch.

Each heavenly stem corresponds to one of the 5 Chinese elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – each combined either with the Yang or the Yin polarity. Therefore, for each of these elements we have respectively: Wood (Yang) & Flower (Yin), Sun (Yang) & Fire (Yin), Mountain (Yin) & Soil (Yang), Metal (Yang) & Gold (Yin), Water (Yang) & Air (Yin).

The 12 Earthly branches instead correspond to the Zodiac Animals: Rat (鼠, shǔ), Ox (牛, niú), Tiger (虎, hǔ), Rabbit (兔, tù), Dragon (龙, lóng), Snake (蛇, shé), Horse (马, mǎ), Goat (羊, yang), Monkey (猴, hóu), Rooster (鸡, jī), Dog (狗, gǒu) and Pig (猪, zhū).

So, forget about the daily horoscope: the Chinese Zodiac is a 12-year based one!

Are all Pigs Equal?

We have already said that 2019 is the year of the pig, the last of the zodiac symbols. But what does it mean, and what kind of pig? Well, according to the sexagenary cycle, for this year the Earthly branch of “Hai” – the pig – is paired with the Heavenly Stem of  “jǐ”, the Yin Earth. So 2019 is the year of the “己亥” (jǐhài), the Earth Pig.

Along came the Pig

Why the pig is the twelfth and last element of the Chinese Zodiac? According to one version of the Chinese mythology, it is because the Jade Emperor called for a great race to the Heavenly Gate to select his 12 guardians. The rat, the first animal of the Zodiac, came first thanks to his cunning, outsmarting all the animals that ran faster than him. Due to his laziness and constant hunger, the pig stopped several times during the race to eat and rest. The legend holds that the Emperor was just about to close the race and proclaim the 11 winners when the Pig came snorting.

The Pig born identity

In Chinese horoscope there are 5 kinds of Pigs depending on the heavenly stem the sign is matched with: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.

In general, the Pig born have a peaceful, generous and friendly personality. Pigs are also intelligent and particularly ambitious and passionate in pursuing their objectives. However, because they are very generous and naive, it is very easy to take advantage of them.

As to the Earth Pigs, extroversion is their distinctive feature among all others.

Thanks to his personality, the Earth Pig usually excels in many highly remunerative careers such as medicine, finance and law. Thanks to the fact that he is also very extrovert, the Pig easily succeeds in performing arts.

Past and future Earth Pigs

Because of the sexagenary cycle, the only other living Earth Pigs apart from 2019 babies are those born in 1959 and the next ones will be born in 2079!

Among the Earth Pig celebrities there are actress Emma Thompson, Dr. House Hugh Laurie and Rupert Everett.

Sadly you won’t find George Clooney, even though he definitely is a Pig lover.

Luck in 2019 for Earth Pigs… and others

Unlike the western Astrology, in Chinese Horoscope the birth sign year (本命年) is considered to be unlucky.

But seriously, this is not a Pig deal! In fact, this animal is traditionally associated with luck, thus entering the year of the Pig is seen to bring about fortune and wealth to everybody.

Having that in mind, there is nothing left but wishing you all an amazing 2019!

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Tips For A Healthy Life: Qi Energy And How To Let It Flow

Written by Maria Giglio

We all know that modern Medicine is about blades and stitches, but to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM} blood is not the only thing that flows in our body. Healing is rather a matter of mind-body and Qi (氣). 

What is Qi? 

Qi is the vital energy flowing in the Universe and its parts, including men. It doesn’t start or end, it eternally transforms. 

Two opposites make one

Qi has a dual nature represented by Yin/Yang (陰陽) polarity. In other words, how could you know good without bad existing, or see the light if you had never experienced darkness?  

Keep balance  

Balance of the opposites is the key to keep Qi in harmony and live a healthy and happy life. As Ancient Greeks used to say, ‘Meden Agan’, nothing in excess.  

Zen remedies to disharmony

Disharmony can reveal both in physical and emotional forms. For example, emotional stress and air pollution are similar causes of excess in Qi. TCM offers different ways to practice control of Qi and keep a steady mind, like breathing techniques, feng shui, acupuncture, or tai chi

Mens sana in corpore sano 

TCM doesn’t offer a cure but rather methods to take care of ourselves. Whether it is by directing furniture towards east or taking 5 minutes to lie on the floor, we have the power to shape life as we want it.

After all, don’t you think it is exciting to feel that we are more than just flesh and blood?   

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

A Story About Courage And Love: Mulan, Origin Of The Myth

Written by Maria Giglio

Are you a big fan of Disney movies? I am and will never feel too old to freshen up some Classic from time to time. Mulan is no exception. 

About 20 years ago, way before Kung Fu Panda, another Chinese warrior broke into the movie scene, Mulan.  

As for many other movies, Disney takes inspiration from a folk legend for the script, the Chinese epic poem named Ballad of Mulan

The Ballad dates back to 500 A.D. but only became popular after its transposition in written texts during the late Ming. Just like in the movie, the story talks about a girl, Mulan, who goes to war disguised as a man.  

In a time when enemies are threatening invasion at the Chinese border, the Emperor calls for one male for each family to join the army. The call is not refutable.  

In the Hua family, the only man eligible is Mulan’s father Hu, since the other male, Mulan’s brother is just a kid. Hu is a decorated veteran, though too weak and old to survive. Concerned with her father’s fate, Mulan decides to replace her father and secretly leaves to join the army, pretending to be a man.

Incredibly smart and brave, not only Mulan succeeds to deceive her comrades until the end, but she also proves to be an excellent fighter and most of all a brilliant war strategist. 

Thanks to her skills, Mulan gains the respect of the Commander in chief and becomes his closest adviser, leading soon Chinese Army to victory. 

To show gratitude to Mulan the Commander offers her his daughter’s hand, thus forcing Mulan to reveal her real identity: possibly the most beautiful woman in China, whose beauty is only second to her braveness.

With Mulan release, Disney was trying to promote a brand-new idea of woman, thus breaking with a long tradition of harmless princesses waiting for rescue. In Mulan, the message is particularly powerful, since the story itself tracks the change of Mulan’s condition from innocent girl to strong woman. Rather than a dragon surrounding her tower, this new kind of woman has a dragon as a pet!

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Qi And Chic: Feng Shui For A Life Full Of Energy

Written by Maria Giglio

Why moving furniture gives you thrills? Ask the Universe.  

Feng Shui (风水, literally wind and water), the traditional Chinese geomancy, teaches how to set up our living space so to keep the Universal energy, Qi, in balance between its opposites Yin and Yang, and thus live better. 

Want to know how? Here are some tips! 

Take a compass

Suppose you have a compass. At the centre, you have Yin and Yang. Each direction instead represents an Earth element and an aspect of human life.

Colours matter 

Colours channel energy. Want the sun to shine in your social life? Use bright colours like yellow to grant the right amount of Yang in your living room.

In bed instead, opt for darker tones to help you relax or use red to enhance passion.  

The right spot 

Want to get that promotion or have more love in your life? Put them in the right place!

Place your kitchen stove to South to Fire up your meals. Point your bedroom to Southwest to improve relationships.

Mirror, mirror…off the wall! 

Mirrors reflect Qi energy and double it up, so they are perfect for hallways or small spaces.  Don’t put a mirror in front of your front door: it would reject good luck. 

In bedroom, avoid placing a mirror facing the bed. As it reflects the personal energy of the sleepers, it bothers their rest. Also, by doubling up love luck, it enhances the chance of infidelity between lovers.  

Natural Decoration 

Don’t take the use of plants for granted. As plants are full of Qi on their own, they can help or stop the correct flux in the house depending on their position. 

If you enjoyed this very short guide about Feng Shui and want to learn more, here are some readings for you: 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Health Qigong – The Eight Silken Movements (VI):Eliminate Diseases, Breathe from your Dan Tian

Written by Gioia Zhang

Translated by Yuqing Yang

 

The Eighth Section:Stand on your Toes and stretch seven times to get rid of an Illness 

This action can improve your calf strength and your ability to balance. The slight vibration caused by the heel lowering helps to relax and reset the muscles and relieve muscle tension. 

Video 1

This is a simple and easy action that can be done anywhere. First you should lift your heels, stretch your neck backwards and keep your head up, looking straight forward. After a slight pause, lower your heels back to the ground.  You should feel a slight vibration. Repeat seven times. 

While doing this exercise, you should keep your shoulders relaxed and do not shrug. When lifting, raise the heel as much as possible, and maintain your balance when you pause at the height of the lift. 

 

Cool Down 

The function of this movement is to help your Qi return to dan tian, to relax your muscles, and to calm your mind. 

Video 2

The cool-down can be divided into the following detailed steps: 

  1. Rotate your palms so that they face backwards, lift your arms from the side of your body to hip-height; 
  2. Bend your arms, placing your palms on your abdomen, the male should first place his left hand on the abdomen with the right hand on top of it, the female should put her right-hand underneath; 
  3. Lower your arms back down to the side of your body.

Picture 1

During this cool down exercise, the Laogong Temples (acupuncture points in Chinese medicine) of the two palms were stacked on the Dan Tian (see the red dot on the diagram above) so that your body relaxes and you start to breathe from your Dan Tian.  It is generally believed that the benefits behind lowering your Qi back to your Dan Tian (often referred to as your energy center) are based on meridian theory.  It is believed that the human body’s Qi and Blood, which are distributed along the meridians, run into your internal organs and arrive at your limbs.  The Dan Tian is located in the center of the meridians.  It can regulate your Yin and Yang, help to ease communication between your heart and kidney (the functions of both affect the other in Chinese medicine), increase Qi and blood production, activate and improve the functionality of the eight extra meridians, restore physiological functions and promote body regeneration. 

That concludes our introduction to the eight silken movements!  I wish you well-being and happiness every day! 

 

 

 

About Interact China 

 

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

 

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Health Qigong – The Eight Silken Movements (V): Protect Your Waist,Increase Your Strength

Written by Gioia Zhang

Translated by Yuqing Yang

 

The Sixth Section: Reach down and touch your Feet to stabilize your Waist

Picture 1

This action will help to prevent and treat some chronic diseases of the genitourinary system by swiftly flexing and stretching and stimulating the spine, Du Meridian1 and related acupuncture points. At the same time, you give your kidneys, adrenal gland, ureter and some other organs a good traction massage, and can improve their functions and stimulate their production rates.

Video 1

This section can be divided into the following detailed steps:

  1. Stand with both knees upright, point your fingertips forwards and raise your arms upwards. Straighten your elbows, have your palms facing forwards and look straight in front of you

  2. Bend your arms,lower your palms down to the front of your chest, your palms should be facing downwards and your fingertips should be facing each other;

  3. Turn your palms to face upwards, then move your hands outwards and pass them below your armpits.

4.Press your palms on the sides of the spine and move down to the buttocks. While bending down with your upper body, move your hands downwards along the rear sides of your legs and then slowly around to the front so that they end on your feet. Raise your head and look slightly ahead of your feet. Pause in this position for a few seconds. Try not to bend your legs at any point.

  1. Move your palms forwards along the ground, and then use the arms to drive the upper body up, straighten up your elbows with your palms facing forwards.
  • One repetition includes one complete movement upwards and downwards. Repeat the complete movement 6 times.

After six repetitions, bend your legs slightly and then lean forwards with your palms in line with your abdomen, face your palms downwards with your fingertips facing forwards, look straight ahead.

Tips:Apply proper force when you move your palms down along the back of the body. Loosen your shoulders when leaning forwards. Keep your knees straight. Let your arms drive the upper body up.

Please be aware of the following mistakes:

Picture 2

  • When you move your hands down, do not bend your knees and do not bow your head;

Picture 3

  • Do not raise your upper body before your arm

 

The Eighth Section: Clench your Fists and Open your Eyes wide in order to boost your Qi

In traditional Chinese medicine, the liver is associated with the eyes. In this section, the movement of the eyes stimulates the liver. At the same time, the cooperation between the movements in this section stimulates the body’s major meridians. If done on a long-term basis, this exercise can strengthen the muscles and bones throughout the entire body.

Video 2

This section can be divided into the following detailed steps:

  1. Step to the left with your left foot, half squad your legs,and meanwhile,clench both hands into fists and place them in line with your waist you’re your thumbs inside and the eyes of the fist facing upwards,look straight in front of you.

  2. Punch your left fist forward at shoulder height,with the eye of the fist facing upwards,and then look at your left fist.

  3. Open your left fist,rotate your palm so that it is facing outwards and your thumb facing downwards,and then look at your left palm.

  4. Rotate your left arm outwards, bend your elbow slightly, and at the same time, rotate your left palm towards the left. When your palm is facing upwards make your left hand into a fist with your thumb inside. Look at your left fist.

  5. Retract your left fist to your waist side with the eye of the fist facing upwards, and look straight in front of you.

• The movement to the right should be the same as the movement to the left. Doing the movement once to the right and once to the left counts as one repetition. You should complete three repetitions in total.

Video 3

Once you have completed three full repetitions, shift your center of gravity to the right, pull your left in so that you return to the original stance, your feet should once again be shoulder width apart. Meanwhile,unclench your fist,lower your palms to the side of your body, look straight in front of you.

Picture 4

Tips: when you extend your fist to punch, fix your eyes on it. At the same time, you should hold onto the ground with both feet. Adjust the height of your squad depending on the strength of your legs;when you retract your fist, clench your fist tightly.

Please be aware of the following mistakes:

Picture 5

*do not bend your upper body forwards when you punch

*do not shrug your shoulders when you punch

  • when you retract your fist,please rotate your wrist and clench your fist tightly

Well, we are almost done with our introduction to The Eight Silken Movements. Have you been exercising in your spare time? How are you feeling? We would be delighted to hear from you in the comments!

 

About Interact China 

 

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

 

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Health Qigong – The Eight Silken Movements (IV): Relax Strained Organs and Reduce Your Heart Fire*  

Written by Gioia Zhang

Translated by Yuqing Yang 

 

Now it is time to introduce the Fourth Section: “Stretch Backwards for Physical Weakness and Sickness” 

Picture 1

Physical weakness and sickness (五劳七伤, the Five Lao and Seven Shang) refers to strains on your heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys and any one of the following seven emotions being impacted in a negative way: happiness, sadness, grief, fear, shock and longing. This section helps to stretch your chest and belly by rotating your upper limbs. Turning your head to the left and right can stimulate the Da Zhui acupoint and various acupoints on the back, which helps prevent physical weakness and sickness. In addition, it also improves blood circulation in your neck and brain and strengthens your central nervous system. 

Video 1

This section is divided into the following steps: 

  1. Straighten your legs and stretch them, lift your center of gravity while straightening your arms, fingers pointing downwards, eyes straight ahead.
  2. Open your arms out to the sides, palms facing outwards, turn your head to the left, pause for one second and look to the left behind your back.
  3. Bend your knees slightly, bring your arms back in and keep them by your hips, fingers pointing outwards, eyes straight ahead.
  • Doing this section once to the right and once to the left counts as one repetition, three repetitions in total. 

Video 2

  • At the end of the third repetition, bend your knees slightly 

Picture 2

  • Tips: keep your chin tucked in, correct your head posture, relax and lower your shoulders, try to keep your body still during the head movement, make sure your arms go all the way back when stretching them out to the sides in order to get a full stretch. 

Try to avoid the following mistakes: 

Picture 3

  • Do not move the center of your upper body backwards and keep your head as still as possible during the body movement 

  • Try to move your head and open your arms to the fullest.  

We will now move on to discussing the Fifth Section: Move Your Head and Legs to Reduce Heart Fire  

Picture 4

Heart Fire is the result of excessive fire elements in your heart. This section intends to simulate your spine and governor meridian to purge this heat and reduce heart fire. At the same time, it will increase the flexibility of your neck, waist and hip as well as strengthening the muscles in these areas. 

Video 3

This section is divided into the following steps: 

  1. Move your center to the left, step to the right with your right foot while raising your  hands above your head. Bend your fingers, fingertips facing each other, eyes straight ahead. 
  2. Bend your knees and do the horse stance while lowering your arms. Rest your hands on your thighs slightly above your knees.
  3. Raise you center of gravity slightly, then move it so that your upper body leans towards the right. Bend over and look towards your right foot.
  4. Move your center of gravity to the left while moving your upper body to the right. Turn left, bend over and look down towards your right heel
  5. Move your center to the right and get into the horse stance while tilting your head backwards; straighten your upper body, tuck your chin in, eyes straight ahead.
  • Repeat the section to the right. Doing this section once to the right and once to the left counts as one repetition, three repetitions in total. 

Video 4

  • After three repetitions, move your center to the left, take back your right foot, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, at the same time, lift both your arms above your head, palms facing each other. Bend your knees slightly, place your hands in front of your stomach, fingertips facing each other, eyes straight ahead. 

Picture 5

Tips: when doing the horse stance, your upper body should be straight; when you turn your body, make sure to stretch it lightly. 

This movement is very difficult, and you will exercise many joints and muscles. Please study the steps carefully and practice them multiple times. 

The human body is a marvelous system that links the heavens and nature. Regulating your meridians is crucial for your health, so try to do some stretching exercises during your work breaks. You can even do them while sitting on your chair at your desk! It will help to relax your muscles. 

*Heart Fire is a term used in traditional Chinese medicine and is used when someone is diagnosed with an excess of energy which can lead to disruptions in the patient’s health, be that physically, psychologically or spiritually. Emotional tension is the most common underlying factor in this condition. Click the following link for a fuller explanation of heart-fire, the causes and symptoms – https://healingpointacupunctureclinic.com/blog/heart-fire-summer-element. 

 

 

About Interact China 

 

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

 

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!