Finding Zen on Greek Ferry Journeys

For many, a relaxing vacation involves long walks on the beach and time to unwind with meditation. In this 10-minute meditation, Bram Barouh guides listeners to a quiet beach where they can relax and rejuvenate.

For island-hopping travelers, ferries are an essential mode of transportation. To make the most of your ferry journeys, follow these tips:

1. Zazen Meditation

The idea behind zazen is to bring your mind back to the present moment and to release preconceived notions about reality. It is not meant to be a relaxing or mindless activity, but rather an active meditation focused on positioning the body correctly in order to gain awareness of your breathing. The idea is to be fully engaged in the meditation and not think about anything but that which you are focusing on at the time, which is why it can be difficult for those new to the practice.

During zazen, the practitioner sits in a comfortable position where their back is straight and their head is held in a place that does not strain the neck. The practitioner must be vigilant in regards to the placement of their hands, feet and legs. This attention creates a unification between the mind and body so that the usual flow of inner monologue is interrupted. Thoughts will arise as they normally do, but the goal is to simply observe them and let them pass without getting attached to them.

The benefits of this type of meditation are numerous. Research has shown that regular practice can actually alter the neural pathways in your brain, allowing you to have more control over the thoughts that are constantly racing through your head. In addition, it has been found that zazen can lower your systolic and diastolic blood pressure and reduce your stress levels.

2. Tea Ceremony

The tea ceremony is a charming and detailed ritual that’s steeped in spirituality. Harmony, purity, respect and tranquillity — these are values that this ritual embodies and aims to teach its participants. It represents connections between life and art, the sacred and secular, our planet and inner spirituality.

In Japan, the Tea Ceremony is a cherished tradition. It’s a time to relax and appreciate the beauty of the moment. It’s not about the taste, but enjoying the aesthetic of the tea, its presentation, the utensils, and their meaning. This is a time to reflect on the beauty of the moment – a moment that will never repeat.

On our Journeys to the Temples of Kyoto tour with Contiki, you can take part in a traditional Tea Ceremony at a 300-year-old Zen temple that’s also home to a beautiful Buddha statue. The experience is a perfect way to start your day, and we’re sure you’ll leave with a refreshed spirit.

A flight might seem like the last thing you want to do while island hopping in Greece, but it’s always worth looking at your options before making a decision. Ferries can be extremely choppy, and even people who don’t usually get seasick often feel ill after boarding one. It’s almost always best to fly if you can! Especially if you’re traveling with kids or other people who might not be able to handle the discomfort.

3. Calligraphy

Calligraphy, derived from the Greek kallos and graphein, is an elegant art of writing. It has long been considered a high form of art, and a new interest in the craft has become more mainstream. It is not only used on invitations and diplomas, but also as a style of lettering in commercial signs, and it has become a popular pastime among people who like to express themselves artistically and enjoy the process of creating beautiful letters.

In the past, calligraphy was created using traditional materials such as ink, paper, and brushes. The ink was typically made of soot or gum, and the brushes were made from animal hair, such as horse or goat. Traditionally, the calligrapher held the ink in his left hand while he drew the letters with his right. He would then use the brush to apply the ink to the paper, and the result was a work of beauty that was both artistic and functional.

In the modern world, many calligraphers use pens with wide nibs that produce strokes of varying width within one letter. This creates a more whimsical look to the letters, and it is possible for someone who does not know how to read the script to still find beauty in it. This is because calligraphy focuses on the visual aspect of the letters and the way in which they are written, rather than how they are read.

4. Labyrinth

When Jim Henson’s Labyrinth was first released in 1986, it was not met with universal acclaim. Despite the presence of David Bowie and the puppetry for which Henson is famous, the movie was considered a failure by many critics. However, Labyrinth reacquainted audiences with an idea that Hollywood had lost sight of: Childhood is a scary and dangerous time, full of dead-ends, wrong turns, and tricks.

Henson’s film depicts Sarah, a teenage girl with an overactive imagination, as she struggles to babysit her infant stepbrother. Frustrated with her inability to put him to sleep, Sarah impulsively wishes for the Goblin King Jareth to steal her baby away. The next thing she knows, her brother is missing. Jareth appears in her room, with his snowy owl wings flapping and French doors thrown open, to warn that she must find him before 13 hours have passed or he will be lost forever.

Although Jareth’s labyrinth is fictional, its concept draws from an ancient tradition. According to ancient Greek legend, King Minos of Crete commissioned Daedalus to construct a maze beneath his palace in which he trapped the fearsome Minotaur. It was only when the hero Theseus entered the maze, armed with a ball of thread provided by Ariadne, that the Minotaur was defeated. The labyrinth thus became a symbol of resistance against oppression and rebirth.