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Chinese philosophical gems for life

Here are a few examples of Chinese philosophical terms, and there are many more that reflect the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of China. These concepts are deeply ingrained in Chinese culture and are often used in the context of self-improvement, personal development, and spiritual growth:

  1. Tao (道) – The Tao, or “Way,” is a central concept in Chinese philosophy and refers to the ultimate reality or the natural order of things. It is often described as a force that pervades all things and is the source of all existence.
  2. Yin and Yang (阴阳) – Yin and Yang are two complementary forces that are said to make up the universe. Yin represents femininity, darkness, and receptivity, while Yang represents masculinity, light, and action. Together, they create balance and harmony in the world.
  3. Confucianism (儒家) – Confucianism is a system of thought and ethics that emphasizes the importance of education, social order, and moral behavior. It is based on the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius and is one of the most influential philosophical systems in Chinese history.
  4. Daoism (道家) – Daoism is a philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao and the natural world. It is based on the teachings of Laozi and emphasizes simplicity, spontaneity, and non-action.
  5. Legalism (法家) – Legalism is a philosophical system that emphasizes strict laws and harsh punishment to maintain social order. It was popular during the Warring States period in ancient China and is often associated with the philosopher Han Fei.
  6. Moism (墨家) – Moism is a philosophical system that emphasizes the importance of understanding and mastering the natural world through observation and experimentation. It was developed by the Chinese philosopher Mozi and is often considered a precursor to Confucianism and Daoism.
  7. Mohism (墨子) – Mohism is a Chinese philosophy that emphasizes universal love and the idea that all people are equal. It’s found in the works of Mozi, a Chinese philosopher and his followers.
  8. Wu Wei (无为) – Wu Wei is a concept in Chinese philosophy that refers to the idea of “non-action” or “effortless action.” It means acting in accordance with the natural order of things, and not trying to force things to happen.
  9. Qi (气) – Qi is a concept in Chinese philosophy that refers to the vital energy or life force that animates all living things. It is often associated with the idea of balance and harmony, and is said to be the foundation of good health and well-being.
  10. Ren (仁) – Ren is a key concept in
  11. Confucianism and refers to the virtue of benevolence or humaneness. It emphasizes the importance of compassion, empathy, and treating others with kindness and respect. According to Confucius, the goal of education and self-cultivation is to cultivate Ren and become a virtuous person.
  12. Li (礼) – Li is a key concept in Confucianism and refers to the practice of ritual and propriety. It emphasizes the importance of social etiquette, customs, and traditions in maintaining social order and harmony.
  13. Junzi (君子) – Junzi is a term used in Confucianism to describe a person of virtue and integrity. It refers to a noble or superior person who embodies the virtues of Ren, Li, and wisdom.
  14. Wu (无) – Wu is a concept in Chinese philosophy that refers to the idea of nothingness or emptiness. It is often associated with the Taoist concept of Wu Wei, and emphasizes the importance of letting go of attachments and desires in order to achieve inner peace and harmony.
  15. Qi Gong (气功) – Qi Gong is a Chinese practice that combines physical movements, breathing techniques, and meditation to cultivate and balance the body’s qi energy. It is often used for health and wellness purposes and is considered as a form of martial art, traditional Chinese medicine and spiritual practice.

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Mindfulness practices and concepts for our kids

Here is a list of some popular Japanese philosophical terms and their short meanings:

  1. Wabi-sabi: Acceptance of transience and imperfection; finding beauty in the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
  2. Zen: A form of Buddhism that emphasizes meditation and self-awareness as a means of achieving spiritual enlightenment.
  3. Shinto: Japan’s indigenous religion, which emphasizes the worship of nature spirits and ancestor spirits.
  4. Bushido: The code of conduct and way of life of the samurai, emphasizing loyalty, respect, courage, and self-discipline.
  5. Mono no aware: The awareness of the transience of things and the bittersweet beauty of life.
  6. Ikigai: The reason for being, the connection between one’s passion, mission, vocation and profession.
  7. Yūgen: A profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe and the sad beauty of human suffering.
  8. Hara: The center of the body and mind, a connection to the earth, the source of inner strength and balance.
  9. Mokomokai: The mindfulness of the present moment and the interconnectedness of all things.
  10. Shugyo: A spiritual discipline and the pursuit of self-improvement through ascetic practices.

These are just a few examples of Japanese philosophical terms, and there are many more that reflect the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of Japan. Many of these concepts are rooted in Buddhism and Shintoism, which have had a profound influence on Japanese culture. These terms have been adopted and adapted in various ways by different cultures, and are often used in the context of mindfulness, self-improvement, and personal development.

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Practicing Mindfulness

What is it?

A state of present and personal awareness which encompasses cognitive, emotional, and sensory functions to empower an individual to respond productively to the demands of daily life.

It is not a religion, a silver bullet or a short-term solution.


Mindfulness has shown to:

  • Improve life satisfaction
  • Decrease emotional exhaustion
  • Cope with situations and changes
  • And combat stress


Exercise 1: Breath control

  • Inhale slowly while counting mentally 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Hold your breath and mentally count 4 seconds
  • Exhale slowly while counting mentally 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • And finally rest mentally for 4 seconds before re-starting the inhalation cycle.

Exercise 2: Meditation

  • Create a regular time and space that is free of external distractions
  • Start with 5 minute and gradually increase up to 30 minutes
  • Choose a comfortable sitting position with the feet touching the ground/grass
  • Sit up straight, shoulder square, tongue resting on the roof of the palate, eyes closed
  • Start with deep breathing till you achieve a comfortable rhythm
  • Focus on one part of body where the breath feels prominent: (like nostril, diaphragm, throat)
  • Maintain attention to the breath
  • If mind wanders, accept it and keep returning your attention to our breathing
  • When timer rings, give thanks to the universe, rub palms vigorously and gently apply the warmth to your eyes and face and gently open your eyes


Wandering mind not a happy mind – Harvard Gazette