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Origami as Meditation: Reducing Stress and Finding Inner Peace
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Origami as Meditation: Reducing Stress and Finding Inner Peace"

"Discover the benefits of using origami as meditation in this detailed article. Learn how paper folding can help focus the mind, build patience, and reduce stress, providing a moment of calm and inner peace in your everyday life. Suitable for beginners and origami experts alike."


Origami as Meditation: A Pathway to Serenity


Each time I close my eyes, a cascade of thoughts rushes into my mind, leaving me feeling frustrated and powerless against this relentless turmoil. I know I should observe these thoughts and let them pass through me, but it's as if my brain stubbornly refuses to pause, even for a moment.

One day, a friend told me that one could meditate even while chopping carrots! That made me wonder if origami could also be a form of meditation.

Indeed, each fold requires attention and precision, which compels the folder to focus entirely on the act of folding, sometimes setting aside daily worries and distractions. This immersion in the process can be profoundly soothing. Unknowingly, the folder may gently slide into a form of relaxation, a meditative state. It can even resemble a practice of mindfulness where the folder concentrates on the present moment, achieving inner peace.

The Benefits of Folding for Well-being

Studies have shown that manual activities like origami can reduce stress levels and improve mood. For instance, a study published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association observed that 45 minutes of artistic creation—including paper folding—significantly reduced cortisol levels, a stress hormone, among participants.

For younger people, origami helps develop patience and perseverance. As for experts, complex models require sustained concentration and repeating folds can be likened to reciting mantras in meditation, helping to train the mind to stay present and engaged.

"When I fold, there is nothing else around, just the paper and me. It's a break in my day that allows me to recharge." This kind of testimony is common within the origami community and highlights the ability of this art to act as an active form of meditation.

Starting with Meditative Origami

For those who wish to explore origami as a form of meditation, here are some tips:

  • For beginners, start simple: Choose easy models that do not require following complex instructions.
  • Create an ambiance: Practice in a quiet environment where you are unlikely to be regularly disturbed. Ideally, you have your resource place, a special location dear to you for recharging.
  • Respect your pace: Do not rush. Let the process naturally guide you through the steps.
  • Breathe in a rhythm: Inhale before making a fold, and exhale as you fold. But do not be rigid; you are allowed to breathe at other times... I have found, however, that this type of breathing aligned with the act of folding helps me refocus more easily on the task.

Whether you are a novice or an expert, integrating origami as a meditative practice might just be a curiosity to some. For others, it might significantly impact your life by, for example, offering moments of peace amidst the whirlwind of daily life. Finally, for others still, it could profoundly transform a folding session because sometimes, you might feel as if the paper becomes alive and comes to life in your hands.

Nicolas TERRY

April, 29th 2024

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