There’s a lot to be borrowed from Oriental culture and philosophy. The mindfulness of daily tasks converts them to ritual, bringing individual importance and attention to each. There are rituals that each culture has its own spin on, like tea drinking. In England we have the Cream Tea phenomenon, and Japan – Tea ceremonies and Tea Masters.
Having just eaten my stir-fry vegetables out of my little chinese bowl, I thought about how mindfulness in Asia also translates through the dining culture. Chopsticks make food slower to eat, like heels make walking slower and more graceful, giving time for the appreciation. Small rice bowls also help with portion size and could have a big impact on eating habits if just swapped with large plates and bowls.
Ritualism encourages the slow consideration of the effect and affect of choice. It brings importance and significance to otherwise unrecognised acts of living. Oriental design embodies this and incorporates a somewhat minimalism, but I feel that it is about how you function and feel in the space. It becomes synonymous with the time you give yourself, making a connection with the way you go about external tasks. This is the foundation of philosophies like Feng Shui, incorporating and recognising the same elementals both internally and externally. It is our connection to the grace of nature.