The Amayori Sento — Mindfulness


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An Easy Weekend Morning Ritual

Little moments of tranquility can have such a rejuvenating impact on our lives. There are so many ways to make everyday moments more beautiful and mindful. All that’s required is a bit of effort, creativity, and intention. I love to read after I meditate and exercise on weekend mornings. I just sit on my couch for 30 minutes or so and read whatever book currently is holding my attention, or I pick a random book and just dive in. What makes this moment go from “reading on the couch” to a weekend ritual is this: Tea: I always make a cup of tea to sit down and read with. Tea stops us and takes us out of the day-to-day. I...

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Taking Care: Nurture the Body, Nurture the Soul

Think about a busy morning. There are certain things that we do without fail before beginning our day. Some of these things include brushing our teeth, taking a shower, applying face care products, etc. One of the areas that often gets put aside when we have less time is our bodies. In my late 20’s, I shared an apartment with a woman who was the quintessential California girl. She was “all-American,” pretty and natural. She always looked fresh and glowed with happiness when she smiled. We were living in San Francisco, which is usually overcast and chilly, so were thrilled to visit her family in a warmer part of California for a chance to go swimming. When we got to...

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The Legend of Empress Kōmyō

From Japanese bathing culture, there is one woman whose name I have come across again and again: Empress Kōmyō. As with all women, there are many facets to her life story, but I have been particularly intrigued and inspired by her connection and influence on bathing. A true empress and thoroughly elegant woman, Empress Kōmyō was known for her great beauty and equally for her compassionate and charitable nature. Hailing from the aristocratic Fujiwara clan of the Heian era, she was a devout Buddhist and was remarkably humble. It is said that she was devoted to personally bathing the poor as an act of charity (bathing or sponsoring baths for the poor was often done by aristocrats of the day)....

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Detox This Spring With These Japanese Wellness Tips

Spring is the perfect time to detox your surroundings, mind, body, and diet. The key to detoxing anything is to do things that are reasonable and that you can be consistent with. Here are some of my favorite Japanese wellness and lifestyle tips that are easy to incorporate into your life and will spring-clean your mind, body, and soul. Switch Out Coffee for Matcha: Invest in a good quality matcha and substitute it for your morning coffee. Matcha is made by grinding whole tea leaves. This beautiful bright green powder is packed with antioxidants. It is a strong immunity booster and has AMAZING effects on the skin. The energy lift that matcha will give you is very similar to coffee...

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New Details from Japan that You Are Going to Love

I recently ordered a beautiful foundation brush from Japan. I decided that this one brush would replace the ten foundation and concealer brushes that I had. The brush is made by a company that has been making makeup brushes for 250 years. This concept is distinctly Japanese and one of the many things I love about Japanese culture: invest in quality and don’t have things that are subpar and unnecessary. My brush arrived in the mail and I eagerly opened the package. In the box I found a simple hand-folded white envelope of a gorgeous hand-wrinkled Japanese paper called kyoseishi. It looked and felt like luxurious fabric and was breathtaking to unfold. On the white origami-like envelope lay a small...

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