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When we mention Japan, our minds are filled with images of traditional customs, philosophy, and spirituality. One of the most symbolic objects that embodies the Japanese aesthetics and spirituality is the Daruma. This small, almond-shaped item holds a long and fascinating history that is connected to determination, goal achievement, and personal empowerment.
Daruma dolls are small figures made from traditional paper and clay, typically with a red color and a distinctive intense expression, featuring one eye left unpainted. The appearance of the Daruma is based on the historical Indian philosopher Bodhidharma, who is considered the father of Zen Buddhism and the founder of Shaolin Kung Fu. However, Daruma dolls have evolved into a unique symbol with their own spirituality and significance.
The Daruma is a symbol of determination and continuous effort to achieve our goals. When someone decides to set a goal, they paint one eye of the Daruma. Goals can be anything, from learning a new language to achieving a challenging task at work or in personal life. As the effort progresses, the Daruma becomes a constant reminder not to abandon our goals and to keep striving for their accomplishment. Once the goal is achieved, the other eye is painted to symbolize the successful completion of the endeavor. The Daruma serves as a source of motivation, encouraging us to persevere in our journey towards achievement.
A special tradition associated with the Daruma is the "Daruma Ceremony." At the beginning of the new year, many Japanese people purchase a new Daruma and "awaken" it to start its journey towards achieving their goal. At the end of the year, regardless of whether the goal was accomplished or not, people gather in a ceremony where they symbolically burn the Daruma as an acknowledgment of their effort and acceptance of the challenges faced during their journey.
Beyond determination and achievement, the Daruma also symbolizes resilience and perseverance. One of its distinctive features is that it always returns to an upright position when knocked over, making it a symbol of bouncing back and recovering from setbacks and adversity.
In summary, the Daruma represents the power of will and determination, providing empowerment for each of us to support our ambitions and dreams. Through the Daruma, we learn to persist, adapt, and continue our efforts, regardless of the challenges we may face. Let us embrace the Daruma in our lives and mobilize the spirit of determination and success, allowing it to remind us that every dream can be achieved with dedication and resolve.