Origami Shelter: Instant Flat-Pack Architecture on Demand | WebUrbanist

origamic architecture

Take a structure, strip away all of the non-essentials, and squeeze out every last unused bit of air space, and what do you get? Something a lot like a folded sheet of paper.

origami inspired instant architecture

This folding shelter designed by Doowon Suh is as elementary as it gets – a series of sheets that unfold like origami to form a robust but basic building.

origami example

Like nesting paper cranes, in its most compact form, each module can be stacked on its siblings, making it easy to pack and ship in containers or store until deployed.

origami flat pack buildings

The modules are bare bones for maximum adaptive capability – they can emergency homes or hospital pods, temporary stores or community rooms.

via Origami Shelter: Instant Flat-Pack Architecture on Demand | WebUrbanist.

Meditation for the business soul | Dynamic Business – Small Business Advice – Forums | Dynamic Business Australia

Marina Yang | April 26, 2013

Meditation is about understanding yourself and where you fit into the world. What better practice for the working person?

The trials of navigating the muddy waters of workplace relationships whilst trying to improve your own productivity are lifted when you understand who you are, and where you are. Meditation can also improve your self-perception by boosting self-esteem and confidence.

The clarity of a mind used to meditation is the result of refining your ability to focus and move from one concept to another, and can therefore assist with problem-solving.

Some simple tips for meditation beginners:

1. Find and allocate time for meditation at least once a day.

Meditation is an accumulative process. A single sitting might make you feel at peace for a while, but continuous meditation can improve your general wellbeing. Find time during your day for meditation, and sustain it. Ideally, work should not be a source of stress- meditation can help you overcome anxieties associated with work by bolstering your mental state. Soon you will fall into a rhythm and enjoy being able to wake up feeling energised, and going to sleep feeling at peace.

2. Position

Assume a comfortable position in a quiet space without distractions. The lotus position is a classic, but any upright seated position is good. Try not to lean against anything or lie down to avoid becoming drowsy. In this position, try to stop thinking consciously and let your mind sink down into a more abstract place. Feel rather than think. Focus on the physical feeling of your body- the weight of your limbs, the sensation of the floor or chair beneath you, the movement of the air, and your own pulse.

A popular technique is to concentrate on the sensation of the toes on your left foot, then the rest of the foot, then the ankle. Keep progressing around the body, thinking about the feeling of each part of your body. End at the top of your skull.

This will help you become more comfortable in your own body and aware of how you position yourself. Is your mind fully engaged with each part of your physical body at all times? Are you entirely aware of how you move? Sometimes, unfocused people will blatantly but unconsciously drift off and this will show in their body language. Avoid this by improving your concentration skills and closely establishing the link between mind and body.

3. Breathing

Focussing on breathing is one of the most basic meditative exercises. Count your breaths and establish a rhythm. Count ‘one’ as you breathe in, then ‘two’ as you exhale. Feel the air flowing into your expanding lungs, then flowing back out.

Alternately, imagine your worries being ‘breathed out’ and that you are breathing in positivity. Some people like to visualise- your worries might appear as a dark mass, whilst the positivity in the world could be a bright, warm light.

It is also recommended that before you start meditating, you write down all of your problems and the things associated with them on a piece of paper, which helps with the process of sweeping the negativity from your mind.

This should help you form a more optimistic mindset and more confidence in yourself, whilst reducing stress levels. The problems cannot be erased, but you can gain a better understanding of what they are, where they originate from, and how you can approach them. Your business and work will be where you left them, but you can return them as a rejuvenated person with a fresh outlook.

via Meditation for the business soul | Dynamic Business – Small Business Advice – Forums | Dynamic Business Australia.


“Unwinding the Mind” Meditation Technique: Responding creatively to stress by Karah Pino, MAcOM

Responding creatively to stress.

Instead of reacting to situations with our old  instincts, we can learn to respond thoughtfully and creatively. When we practice observing our own reactions, we can better understand the nature of our old instinctual patterns.  After allowing our initial, instinctive reaction to pass by,  we then have more time to choose how to respond with intention and care.

The experience of being in a meditative state is one of calmness, peacefulness and a sense of well-being.  After meditating, this sense of well-being will continue for a half a day (or until the next stressful event).  Research has shown that 20 minutes of meditation can lower cortisol stress hormone levels for 12 hours.  This helps us to understand why meditation traditions around the world encourage meditation twice a day!

After meditating regularly, you will find that you are able to regain your calm more and more easily after a stressful event.  You will also find that the feeling of peace gives your creative mind more space to find solutions to problems and this leads to less worry because you begin to trust in your abilities more and more.

Download this guided meditation for free:

20 minute Guided Meditation: Observation of the Breath MP3

Watching our thoughts and feelings as children on the playground of our imagination.

Unwind your Mind

Meditation Instruction and CD

Know as children know, that these thoughts and feelings are temporary.  Know that you are free to leave the playground game sat any time.  Watch as the spinning wheels and grinding gears slow to a stop.  Feel the peaceful stillness of a mind unwound.

Karah Pino, MAcOM is the creator and instructor of Unwind your Mind, a meditation course designed to help you discover for yourself the benefits of meditation and choose the style best suited to you.


Metro – Use meditation to sleep better in 2013

Talking in your sleep? There’s an app for that

The city that never sleeps



What are some reasons people don’t sleep well?

One of the things that people complain about is thinking too much when they are in bed. Thinking of all the things that can go wrong tomorrow does not help.

Another common complaint is waking up at 3 in the morning. It’s worse if you get irritated and start obsessing about not being able to go back to sleep. The best policy is don’t try. Just get up and do something that is on your to-do list. In about an hour you can go back to bed and find that now you can sleep

How can meditation help you sleep better?

Mindfulness meditation brings the mind and the body together. Your body may be in a comfortable bed, in a quiet, dark room. But where is your mind? Whatever the mind is doing, the body follows. So, quieting the mind by getting it to focus on our breathing is helpful.

Are there different types of meditation?

Yes, meditation means different things in different traditions. The type of meditation that I is called mindfulness meditation. It is the practice of bringing the wandering mind back to the body so that body and mind can be united instead of in different places. “Be here now” is a kind of mantra you can use, as well as “Breathing in, breathing out.”

How can we incorporate meditation during the day – for example, at work?

The more mindfulness becomes a part of your life, the easier it is to use it — to sleep better, to decrease your stress level, or even to lose weight by eating mindfully. You need to remember to take time out–or rather, time in–during the day.


Download a mindfulness bell to ring at intervals you choose. When the bell goes off, stop for about 20 seconds, take a deep breath and tune in to yourself. You can use the occasion to get in touch with your breath and see if you are holding tension anywhere in your body.

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant

via Metro – Use meditation to sleep better in 2013.


It’s Time to Unwind your Mind!

Introduction to Meditation

Here’s the Introductory track on the Unwind your Mind Meditation Instruction CD with transcript below:

Unwind your Mind Meditation CD

Meditation Instruction CD

Unwind your Mind Intro Transcript:

It’s time to unwind your mind.  Find yourself a quiet place to sit while I explain a little about these techniques to clear and open your mind.

We all struggle with stress, more precisely, our response to stress.  Tension, anxiety, short breath, fast heart-rate, raised blood pressure, disrupted digestion, trouble sleeping, the list goes on…and on.

Fortunately for us there are ways of neutralizing the stress response we are experiencing and allowing ourselves to enter a state of calmness and restoration.  As modern research continues to explore meditation as a therapy, we are learning how to apply these ancient techniques to our very busy and stressful modern lives.

The first set of techniques utilizes the breath as a tool to change our physiological patterning from a stress pattern to a rest pattern.  Once you practice them a while and are familiar with how you respond to each technique, they can be done most anywhere and can positively impact your stress response in as little as two minutes, that’s about 10-20 breaths.

*Remember if at any point you start to feel lightheaded while practicing these techniques, immediately return to normal breathing.  It can take some time for your body to re-adjust to what is really a normal level of oxygen.

The basic posture for meditation in a chair is preparation for a longer meditation such as the most basic mindfulness meditation:  Observation of the Breath.  20 minutes of mindful meditation is a very powerful tool for switching your neurological pattern into a restorative state and has been shown to lower cortisol/stress hormone levels for up to 12 hours!

Visualization techniques work through utilizing the power of the mind to conceptualize.  Turtle breathing, is a practice that helps us learn to change mental constructs by switching between opposites.  We can then apply this thought reversal process to more complex, stress induced, thought and feeling patterns.

Sound techniques utilize the physical vibration of sound to impact our physiology in very measurable ways.  Our heart, for instance, beats on average more than 100,000 times per day, reverberating in our chest, triggering cascades of biochemicals.

Movement techniques help us to learn to maintain a calm state of meditation awareness as we are moving, so that we can take this peacefulness with us throughout our day.

sop let’s begin.  This may sound strange our maybe eve a bit corny, but one of the fastest way to reset our mental pattern is to chant the sound OM.  It’s kind of like a shortcut, so let’s try it together for just a few breaths and see how you feel.

Sitting with your spine straight and room for your lungs to expand completely, breathing at your own pace, fill your lungs and exhale making the sound OM.  Like this…….

mommy-and-alvin-sqBy Karah Pino, MAcOM: Meditation Instructor and creator of Unwind your Mind