Monday, July 22, 2013

1,000 Cranes- Origami

I received a seminar ad from the program my spiritual director is the executive director for, and it reminded me of how prayerful Origami can be. So, I am sharing this idea with you this week.

Paper folding can be a highly meditative, relaxing, and prayerful practice and can be done just about anywhere. Materials are colorful, easy to come by, inexpensive, and very diverse. All you need is a square piece of paper. You can use plain printer paper cut to size, or a wide variety of Origami paper can be easily found in craft stores or online. You can also use old Christmas paper or pretty much anything else that can be folded into crisp creases.

Like any repetitive task, Origami can lull your mind into deeply quiet place, shielded from the distractions of the world and where you can encounter the Holy in remarkable ways.

A favorite Origami piece is the crane. Legend is, that if you make a wish while you fold 1,000 cranes, your wish will come true. 1,000 cranes are sometimes offered as gifts for newlyweds, for birthdays, life milestones, and other special occasions. 

On a smaller scale, these beautiful small pieces of art may be given as tokens of encouragement, emotional or spiritual support or used for personal prayer, much the way we might use a rosary. I have used them to say prayers while actually folding them, and once made, used in meditative prayer while I arrange of few of them on a small scene, like on a mini Zen sand garden, and I have left in the center of labyrinths, left at grave sites, tucked into lunch boxes, left on a doorstep, or on a pillow for someone I am thinking of and praying for. They can be strung on thread and hung from trees, bushes and balconies, piled into glass jars, or anything else that strikes your fancy and is meaningful to you or to the person you give them to. I have also seen baskets full of them left in cancer treatment centers and tokens of hope for those being treated there. The possibilities for their use are endless.

A pdf file of folding instructions can be found here:

Crane Folding Instructions

If you prefer to watch a video, there are lots of them on You Tube. A good example is here:

Check out the Stillpoint "Play Shop" here:

Make a few of them to pass along to someone you want to show support for, and see how wondrous making them, giving them, and receiving them can be.

God's Peace,