The latest psychoneuroimmunological research shows that positive mental states like delight, awe, and gratefulness have a favourable effect on immunity – in other words, we possess a natural self-healing ability.
Some medical institutions have started using flower therapy and gardening therapy for the healing effects gained from association with flowers and plants. After working with flowers or in the garden, patients experience reduced tiredness, enhanced relaxation and so on.
MOA’s Arts and Culture Program draws on Okada’s theory that the enjoyment of beauty affects the soul – the essential nature of human beings – by purifying it and that this is reflected in mental and physical soundness.
Encountering something beautiful is an experience that brings about changes or effects in the mind. Sometimes it brightens the mind, soothes and relaxes it, induces tranquillity, or triggers positive thinking. Such effects or changes heighten one’s aesthetic sensitivity, whether or not one is conscious of it. This in turn affects one’s thoughts, speech and behaviour so that they become more pleasant and agreeable. One can expect that such changes will help develop a sound mind and that this influence will then extend to physical well-being.
MOA International encourages people to “bring beauty into daily life” with 5 practical suggestions. The various activities sponsored by MOA that promote mental and physical well-being are organized bearing these practices in mind.
Practical Suggestions in the Arts and Culture Perspective
- Observe the Art of Perfection
a. Visit modern-day “oases,” such as gardens or estates, to enjoy the harmony of natural and man-made beauty.
b. Appreciate Nature’s perfect beauty in the changes of the seasons and scenic landscapes.
- Enjoy Fine Art
a. View works of art at galleries and museums. You can also enjoy fine art at home by looking at art catalogues, replicas, or seeing them on TV.
b. Create your own works of art: drawings, paintings, handcrafts, photography etc.
- Associate with Flowers
a. Admire flowers; look at them with interest.
b. Enjoy arranging flowers at home.
c. Grow flowers in the garden or in pots.
- Seek Out Refined Forms of Entertainment
a. Enjoy the tea ceremony, performing it as well as being served.
b. Go to see films, theatre and dance performances.
c. Enjoy music by listening to good music, playing musical instruments, and/or singing.
d. Cultivate enjoyment of haiku and/or poetry.
e. Enjoy reading literature.
- Enhance Everyday Living with Beauty
a. Take good care of what you wear. Also, how you wear them is important so that your appearance gives others a neat and pleasant impression.
b. Create a lovely eating environment and experience.
c. Keep a clean and tidy home environment.
d. Fragrance adds to an enjoyable home environment.