Mudra means “seal” in Sanskrit. It’s a symbolic or ritual gesture using primarily the hands. Each position is believed to have a specific effect. Specific positions can lead to specific states of consciousness symbolized by the hand positions. For example, if a person frequently and with feeling does a position of fearlessness, they will also be freed from fearfulness in time. Mudras are said to engage areas of the brain and/or soul influencing them, sometimes physically, by their use—not unlike an affirmation, or reflexology for that matter.
“One way that all of us can better care for ourselves is by developing techniques for coping with the irritations and anxiety that are part of life…
Think of these gestures as self-talk for your hands. These simple movements, the gestures
that we often make unconsciously, can help us focus on our work, calm ourselves, release anger and energize us. Used for centuries by many different cultures, mudras are seen in Eastern dance and meditation, in ancient Egyptian friezes, even in Byzantine icons of Christ. Most of us use them today, too: we wave goodbye, we press a hand to our chest in distress, we wriggle our fingers to release energy, or press fingertips together to calm ourselves.
Easy to learn, mudras can be done anywhere, at any time: at traffic lights, in meetings, in airplanes, when we’re arguing, when we’re grieving, when we need to prepare for sleep. The word mudra can be translated from the Sanskrit as that which brings inner peace, and that s what mudras are: a physical means of quieting our bodies.” Product description for Mudras: Ancient Gestures to Ease Modern Stress by Emily Fuller Williams.
“The hands go ahead of you to meet the world. They symbolize how you are handling life or are being handled. They are the most outward expression of the heart energy, where you touch, caress, show love…” Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Shapiro. You use your hands to create, to write, to hug. While this section is usually dedicated to hand mudras, a commercial I saw yesterday for Extra gum touched my heart so deeply, it is all I want to write about today. So please indulge me. I’ve learned to write what’s in my heart first.
Tears streamed down my face when I first saw this commercial and again now when I found it on YouTube. You see, it mirrors a personal “origami” collection of my own given to me over the 31+ years my husband and I have been together. In that timeframe, we’ve been out to eat numerous times—usually at restaurants with paper napkins and paper napkin rings. Each time he has taken the paper napkin ring and constructed a heartfelt “masterpiece” delivering it with his typical lighthearted smile and a commentary about the “vision” behind his design. He always adds a humble joke about the end product being less than perfect.
I started putting these treasures in my purse and saving them each time. By now my collection has grown to ….well let’s just say there are many! I’ve often commented that if we passed on and someone came to clean out our belongings, they’d really wonder about this eclectic collection.
They are currently stored along with the numerous love notes my husband has written to me over the years—Little slips of paper stuffed into my bags and clothes when I travelled for business telling me how much he loved me, or how great I was going to do. Others were left around the house when he travelled. They were left in places he was sure I’d find them but sometimes hidden so I wouldn’t see them immediately—Little surprises meant to keep my heart filled in his absence.
These little scraps of paper—some with words of love, others manipulated into origami masterpieces—pulsate with the energy of loving gazes, jokes shared, dreams imagined. I can’t bear to throw even one away—they encapsulate my husband’s intention to always be there when I need him in thought, word, and deed.
In their own way, they are kind of a form of hand mudra—they’re a ritual gesture sealing our love for an eternity. According to Japanese legend, anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted one wish. I don’t know if I have 1000 creations (I’m not done collecting yet!), but I do know all my wishes have been granted. Create your own energetic origami masterpieces for someone special in your life. You may just find out that indeed “Sometimes the little things last the longest. Give Extra, Get Extra.” Namasté.