History of a Hobby
Origami is the quiet and attentive practice of paper folding that can calm the mind and help you to focus on the now. Origami is an ancient practice originating in Japan. Records show that Buddhist monks created origami sculptures for ceremonial purposes as far back as the 6th century BCE. Today, origami is taught in many elementary schools as a practice to help children develop their memory, concentration, patience, and spatial reasoning skills. A single, square sheet of paper and a set of directions are all you need to start practicing this easily accessible art form.
Easy Come Easy Go
Mindfulness asks us to recognize, release, and replace the judgments we have of ourselves with more constructive thoughts. The practice of creating sculptures from a piece of paper can be frustrating when a model comes out lopsided, or an earlier misfold leads to backtracking and corrections. Recognize that mistakes in life, as in origami, can sometimes be corrected and other times require that we start fresh if we are to move forward.
From Folds to Focus
Once you learn the basic folds, origami becomes a simple, focused practice that has been shown to calm the mind. Beginning the practice of origami requires that you learn the basic folds and how to read them from a diagram. After learning how to read the diagrams, an internet search for easy origami diagrams or beginner origami videos will provide endless options for practice. Once you begin, you’ll notice how the mindfulness practices of patience, acceptance, and focus are necessary to complete a model. As one practice becomes easier, so will the other.
Dream It Do it
What are some of your favorite things? The beauty of origami is that there are thousands of forms that can all be made from a single square of paper. If you can imagine it, chances are someone has made an origami diagram to make it. My personal favorites to fold are flowers. Look for a model that you love and give it a try!
About The Author Michael Cole
Michael is a Registered Dietitian that works with others to help them form a healthier and happier relationship with food and themselves. For Michael, nutritious meals and snacks are an important part of the recovery process, providing the nutrients needed to heal and balance the mind and body. He believes that the best meal, is the one that is shared with friends and family.