Do-It-Yourself Sabbaticals The New York Times
Do-It-Yourself Sabbaticals The New York Times
Do-It-Yourself Sabbaticals The New York Times
Zen meditation (or Zazen) is a great way to reduce stress, focus on the present moment, and connect more deeply with yourself and the world around you. The traditional position for Zen meditation involves sitting on a circular cushion (zafu) with your legs crossed in the Lotus position, your spine upright, your hands on your thighs, and your eyes pointed slightly downward. Depending on your needs and circumstances, though, you can use a chair, bench, or rolled cushion for Zen meditation, but do your best to keep your spine, head, and hands in the recommended position.
[Edit]Sitting on a Cushion, Chair, or Bench
Sit on a circular cushion (zafu) for the classic Zen position. Many traditionalists prefer to use a circular meditation cushion called a zafu. If you prefer, though, you can use any type of soft but supportive cushion that helps you stay in the upright seated posture used for traditional Zen meditation.
For extra comfort, place a meditation mat, or even a blanket or towel, on the floor underneath the cushion.
Sit in the center of the cushion if you prefer keeping your knees on it. Especially if you’re new to Zen meditation, you may find it easier to sit with your crossed legs resting on the cushion along with your backside.
Sit at the front of the cushion if you want to rest your knees on the floor. This is a more traditional approach—your backside on the zafu and your crossed legs draped over the front.
Cross your legs in a comfortable position when using a zafu. The lotus position is the most traditional way to cross your legs during Zen meditation, but it may not be comfortable for newcomers or those with physical limitations. Fortunately, there are several positions you can use. Popular choices include:
Lotus: Cross your left leg over your right so that the tops of both of your feet are resting on the upper thigh of the opposite leg.
Half Lotus: Cross your left leg over your right and rest your left foot on your right upper thigh, but tuck your right foot beneath your left leg. You can reverse legs if desired.
Quarter Lotus: Cross your legs loosely so that your left knee is resting on (or just slightly above, depending on your flexibility) the side of your right foot, and vice versa.
Burmese: Instead of crossing one leg over the other, spread your legs a bit wider, rest your knees, lower legs, and feet on the mat (or floor), and touch the heel of one foot to the base of the ankle of the other foot.
Choose a level, sturdy chair if you’re unable to sit on the floor. Don’t choose a soft, cushiony chair that you can sink down into, but rather one that enables you to sit flat-footed and fully upright. A wooden dining chair or even a folding metal chair may work—just make sure you can sit to the front of the chair and reach your feet flat to the ground.
Sit far enough forward that, when sitting fully upright, no part of your body can contact the back of the chair.
You could use a chair-height stool if desired, because you shouldn’t be in contact with the back of the chair anyway.
Put your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, when using a chair. Your lower legs, from your feet to your knees, should create 2 parallel vertical columns that are perpendicular to the floor. Your knees should bend at 90-degree angles, so that your upper legs are parallel to the floor. Your knees and feet should be at the same width apart as your hips, and your toes should be pointed straight forward.
Find a higher or lower chair if necessary so you can achieve this position.
Add a lumbar support behind your lower back if necessary. You may not be able to sit fully upright on the front section of the chair without experiencing lower back discomfort. In this case, wedge a rounded lumbar pillow between your lower back and the base of the chair back.
Use a rolled-up cushion as an alternative to a floor cushion or chair. Roll up your meditation cushion into a log shape. Your goal is to create a tubular cushion from your zafu that you can straddle with your legs, knees on the floor and backside resting on the cushion. If your zafu isn’t big enough on its own, use additional cushions, mats, and/or blankets to build up the height needed to support this position.
Lay one or multiple mats on the floor. Your knees will be supporting a fair amount of your body weight, so it’s helpful to give them some cushioning. Place at least one meditation mat or soft blanket on the floor, and use more than one if needed to provide additional cushioning.
The rolled cushion needs to be sturdy enough so that you can keep your upper body straight, rather than slouching down into the cushion.
Straddle the rolled cushion with your lower legs flat on the mat. Imagine that you are sitting on a bicycle or a horse. Your lower legs and knees should be flat on the floor and against the sides of the cushion, your upper legs should be at roughly 45-degree angles, and your upper body should be perpendicular to the ground.
Your shoulders, hips, and the middle of your shins should all be in a vertical line.
Straddle a meditation bench instead of a rolled cushion, if desired. Meditation benches typically have 2 legs and a forward-slanted seat. Straddle the seat in the same way you would a rolled-up cushion, with your upper body upright and your lower legs flat on the floor.
Some meditation benches are wide enough that you can tuck your lower legs between the bench legs, rather than straddling them to the outside.[Edit]Positioning Your Spine, Head, and Hands
Extend your spine straight upward, centering on your lower abdomen. Push your lower spine slightly forward and extend your chest slightly out and up. In this position, you should feel as though the top of your head is extending as high as it can and that your belly is your center of gravity.
Your spine doesn’t need to be literally vertical, as this would likely be too uncomfortable to maintain. Rather, focus on stretching your upper body straight upward as much as you can without moderate or greater discomfort.
Tuck your chin and direct your gaze on the floor about ahead. Angle your chin very slightly in and down, so that the crown of your head, rather than the top of your head, is your highest point. Angle your eyes a bit further downward so that you’re looking at the floor in front of you.
Close your eyes halfway, as if you have “sleepy eyes.” Look at the floor without fully focusing on it.
Don’t close your eyes all the way, or you’ll likely daydream or possibly doze off.
Align your lips and teeth and touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Your top and bottom lips, as well as your upper and lower rows of teeth, should be aligned and in light contact with each other. Don’t clench your teeth or lips. Lightly press the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, just behind your upper front teeth.
Breathe deeply through your nose while keeping your mouth closed.
Rest your wrists on your thighs, overlap your fingers, and touch thumbs. No matter your sitting position—cushion, chair, bench, etc.—lay your wrists on top of your upper thighs. Open your hands with your palms up, and lay the fingers on your left hand on top of those on your right hand. Touch the tips of your thumbs together.
The outer sides of both pinkies should be touching, but not pressing against, your abdomen.
Now that your body is positioned, you can begin your zen meditation period.[Edit]Tips
To begin with, sitting for about 5 to 10 minutes is fine. Later, you may want to extend this to around 30 minutes—many regular groups will do multiple sessions of about this length, perhaps interspersed with walking meditation.
Sitting with a group can be a great help, so find a zen group near you. Beginners are usually warmly welcomed.
Look online for meditation cushions. In a pinch, though, a rolled up blanket, large pillow, or even a couch cushion may work for the job.
It’s critical to the traditional Zen meditation posture that you keep your back straight and extended upward. However, don’t be afraid to make adjustments as necessary so that you can reap the benefits of Zen meditation.[Edit]Warnings
Rarely, meditation can ‘open’ one to previously repressed thoughts or desires. If you get distressed, consider finding a Zen teacher or seeking psychological help.
While sometimes zazen can be physically uncomfortable, it should not be painful or risk injury.[Edit]Things You’ll Need
Meditation cushion (zafu)
Meditation bench (optional)
Chair (optional)[Edit]Related wikiHows
Listen to Trees Communicate
Do Concentration Meditation
Do the Lotus Position[Edit]References↑ https://kwanumzen.org/how-to-practice-sitting-meditation
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Manga are comics from Japan with their own unique aesthetic, such as large and expressive character eyes. If you want to make your own manga and maybe be a professional mangaka, the start can be a bit daunting. But don’t be discouraged—with a bit of planning you can create your own unique storyline with all of your own cool characters!
[Edit]Creating Your Characters and Settings
Create your character profiles. Start by writing down some of the character’s personality characteristics and physical attributes and then draw from there. Ask yourself questions like: does your character have powers? Friends, Relatives? Siblings? Are they a main character or side character.
Use your favorite manga characters for inspiration.
If you have a visual character idea, start with that and then move on to writing the character’s personality traits next to it.
Draw your characters. Create a basic face shape to start and then start drawing the ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. Remember that manga characters have very expressive eyes—experiment with their size and shape.Be sure to give eyes light reflections in the form of 2 ovals: a small one near the top of the eye covering primarily the iris and a bit of the pupil, and another smaller oval on the other side of the eye covering the spot where the iris touches the white part of the eye.
Try giving males a smaller iris, which typically creates a more masculine look.
Choose a setting for your story. If you’re having trouble, start drawing a map of the world you want to create. For example, if you’re creating a post-apocalyptic shonen, start writing down some town locations. Afterward, mark off some forests, mountains, and other locations where you can place some fight scenes.
Always consider your genre before creating your setting. Look at other similar manga and see what kinds of settings are commonly used.
Consider your characters as you create your world. For example, ask yourself where each character currently resides and where they were born.
Flesh out a story outline. Create a storyline that accommodates your characters. Change your characters’ goals, personalities, and motivations as you flesh out the story. Start with your setting and genre and then get specific. Decide who the important characters are, the main plot, and how it relates to your setting. Determine the main conflicts, mysteries, challenges, and twists.
Don’t be afraid the change story points and characters as the story develops.
Break your storyline into manga volumes. Each manga chapter is about 19 pages, although the introduction chapter is usually 15. A volume of manga is about 150 pages, which is around 5 chapters. Since there are about 4 pages per scene, that gives you about 5 scenes per chapter.
Start writing down all of your main story events and points and group them into specific scenes. Afterward, group the scenes into chapters, and the chapters into volumes.[Edit]Deciding on a Theme
Create an action manga if you want to focus on fight scenes. Also known as shonen or shounen—which refers to a boy at high school or elementary age—these comics are best known for brief dialogue, lots of character movement, and plenty of battles. If you prefer to draw more than create a story, start with an action manga. Some of the most well-known action manga are Naruto, Dragonball Z, One Piece, and Sword Art Online.
Narratives in action manga are often told through flashbacks.
Action manga speech is often characterized by intense, fast words such as character names and attack names.
If you’re writing a Japanese manga and have a limited understanding of the language, make an action manga.
In recent years, shonen with female protagonists have become more common.
Make a magical girl manga if you want a good-versus-evil story. These are pretty self-explanatory and feature young girls that turn into superheroes—often by means of a magical object—to fight an evil force. Typically, these girls are prepubescent or just entering womanhood. Although they feature fight scenes and lots of action, they also focus strongly on themes of friendship, life lessons, falling in love, and growing up.Magical girl manga fall into the shojo category, which means they are aimed at a young female audience.
Common magical girl manga are Sailor Moon and Powerpuff Girls Z.
Craft a seinen manga if you prefer a focus on dark, mature stories. Seinen manga are counterparts to shonen and while some share similarities, they focus on darker stories and themes like politics, action, fantasy, science fiction, sports, relationships, and comedy. They are more violent and psychological than typical shonen action manga and sometimes have pornographic content.
Try a seinen if you want your fight scenes mixed with dark storylines and characters.
Common seinen manga are Ghost in the Shell, Tokyo Ghoul, Berserk, Gantz, and 20th Century Boys.
Draw a comedy manga if you want to focus on jokes and real-life settings. Comedy manga are the most verbose and thus require a firm grasp of the language you’re writing in. The pacing of speech bubbles are faster, but much more relaxed than action anime due to the focus on conversation rather than short, emotional bursts.Select the jokes you want to focus on: clean jokes, parody jokes, romance/comedy jokes, and/or dirty jokes.
Comedy manga can take place anywhere you like, but are most often in real-life settings, such as high school. If you’d rather a more magical setting, consider an action manga.
Make a monster battle manga if you like action and animals. The monster battle genre is best known for manga like Pokemon and Digimon. It focuses on training and battling monsters—which often uses everyday animals as the base of their design—within a quest or adventure. Often, the main characters are young boys and the story focuses on their journey to create a strong collection of monsters.
Create a mecha anime if you like action and robots. The word mecha comes from the word mechanical, and these manga focus on pilotable robots. In some cases, they take human shape, but this isn’t a given. Some of the most well-known mecha anime are Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Knights of Sidonia. At the end of the day, you can do lots with this kind of manga—comedy, horror, action—but if it has a setting or plot with pilotable robots at the center, it’s considered a mecha.
Consider drawing robots that are made from several smaller robots to make a “super robot.”[Edit]Crafting Your Layouts
Decide on a reading direction. Traditional Japanese manga reads from the top to the bottom, moving vertically from the right to the left. If you want to stick to the roots of manga, use this reading direction. If you don’t care, you can do the common English reading direction, which is moving vertically from left to right.
Ask yourself who your audience is. For example, if you’re writing your manga in Japanese, consider making your comic read right-to-left.
Whichever reading direction you choose, make sure you stick with it—there’s no changing your mind after!
Create 3 speech bubbles per panel and 5 panels per page. Manga is much more fast-paced than traditional Western comics. This means there are more pages with fewer panels and less text. In general, you should have no more than 3 speech bubbles in each panel and an average of 5 panels per page.In general, stick to about 4 pages per scene.
Always separate panel groups by a space of , which is called the panel gutter.
Be sure that the small panel gutters within each panel grouping don’t align with the gutters in other panel groupings.
Use 4 long rectangular panels for short, comedic panels. This is the most simple type of panel layout and is best suited for a specific story or scene that is contained to one page. It works best when trying to create simple humor, although it can be used for any scene that requires a uniform and basic presentation.
When using this layout, use the first panel to set the scene, the second to create the event that creates the climax, the third for the climax, and the fourth as the reaction or conclusion of the scene.
Increase the number and variety of panels for action scenes. Since action scenes have more character movement and changes in direction, you should use an increased number of panels and variation in shape to give them a dynamic feeling. For example, use 3 small panels for a punch: the first showing the character’s angry eyes, the second showing his arm pulled back, and the third showing his fist hitting the opponent. You can even make the third panel a zig-zag border to add emphasis.
Replace square and rectangular panels with triangles or unique zig-zagging borders to create a dynamic feeling.
Use smaller panels to focus on the action rather than the setting, which is typically unimportant for these scenes.
Use large, simple square or rectangles for conversation. When an important conversation is taking place, the dialogue boxes are usually more important than the pictures. Use simple, large panels to capture all the words while keeping the reader’s focus on the characters.
Make sure the panels are big enough to show character faces and reactions.
Change viewing angles to make the conversation dynamic and keep the reader interested.
Minimize the number of dramatic changes between panels to keep the focus on the words.
Don’t use speech bubble tails to indicate the character speaking. Instead, place the bubbles close to the speaker and—if necessary—use slang to make it obvious who is speaking.
Create spiky outlined bubbles for yelled words and hazy bubbles for a character’s thoughts.
Draw large spreads for unique images and settings. Any image that spans 2 or more pages is usually used to show a detailed image or setting. Use these scenes to give the reader a broader sense of characters or settings. For example, an action manga that starts off with a fight between 2 characters can begin with a 2-page spread that shows that giant forest or mountain that the characters are battling in.
Use large panels to start your manga or break up a fast-paced fight or small panels. For example, create a large, connected image to shock the reader or contrast a close-quarters fight.
Toy with dynamic panel layouts. Manga is cinematic and isn’t limited to traditional panel rows. Try out unique panel layouts that cover the entire width or height of the page. You can also use diagonal lines, hazy outline patterns, or characters that break free from the panel.Fade your panels in and out for dramatic storytelling.
Read your favorite manga and emulate their dynamic panel layouts.
Use dynamic panels to showcase different viewpoints, bird’s-eye viewpoints, and low-to-high panel angles.
Think of each panel as a camera angle.
Create motion in characters and backgrounds. Unlike standard superhero comics – which have fully inked characters—manga use blurring limbs with motion, backgrounds made of speed lines, and emphasis lines originating from the point of impact. All of these techniques can be used to create the feeling of motion.
Use mood backgrounds and visual grammar. Try using abstract backgrounds and visual grammar to match and express the emotions of the characters. For example, if one of the characters in your magical girl manga is having thoughts of her crush, make the background flowers to express budding romance. In terms of visual grammar, you can use drops of sweat to express nervousness.If you’re making a shonen, make the background flames during a powerup or scene where the character is angry.
Create swirling knots and black shadows if your character is in a psychologically dark place.
Use a hash mark on the forehead for someone angry or a group of spirit wisps when a character is sad.
Combine mood backgrounds and visual grammar or use them separately.[Edit]Video
Don’t worry if you fail on the first sketches. Drawing is something that takes time and practice!
Try to publish something in your own country. If you haven’t, you will almost certainly be turned down by a Japanese publisher.
Keep drawing and once in a while look back at it to check for mistakes.
You don’t need to color your entire manga—only the first few pages. The rest can be black and white.
Go through several designs of your characters and compare them to see which style fits your liking and their personality.
When selecting a storyline, always think of the genres. Do not limit yourself to stereotypes of genres, but be careful when mixing them. Putting aliens pointlessly into a romance story will be a little odd, but as per Kashimashi, if they’re necessary to the plot, there’s nothing stopping you!
Definitely don’t go with the first thing you think of. Put time and work into development. If your work isn’t perfect by your standards, then keep working! The talent will eventually come, and you’ll be better than ever!
Know the limits. Don’t make storylines too long in every chapter, as they tend to be boring (unless you are adding fight scenes in the story). Also, don’t put too much dialogue in the story.
Be creative and choose wisely before putting any main and additional characters. Intertwine the plot and characters, but only add extras if it would make no sense for them not to be present.
You will not be able to get a working visa in Japan just by saying you want to be a mangaka. However, if you are between the ages of 18 and 25, you can get a working holiday visa, which allows you to work in Japan for one year. If a publisher wants you, you might be able to organize a proper working visa. If you are too young or too old, you need to establish connections.[Edit]Warnings
Avoid changing the story once you’ve started doing the proper images, especially if you are working with an artist.
Be prepared to make very little money. Unless you’re publishing on a weekly basis or so, you may only be paid once or twice a year.
Story comes first! A manga that focuses on the art instead of the story is a guaranteed failure.
If your work gets rejected, it’s not the end of the world. Ask where you’ve gone wrong, fix it, and try again.[Edit]Things You’ll Need
Picture editing software[Edit]Related wikiHows
Become a Mangaka
Develop Your Own Manga Style
Draw Manga Hair
Be a Pro Manga Ka
[Edit]Quick Summary↑ https://www.mit.edu/~rei/Expl.html