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Can the "Friends of Winter" Show You How to Be Successful?!

Winter is here, strong and powerful, making the sky look grey while covering life with His cold breath. But he has three important friends who according to Taoism, are also the three key characteristics of a successful person.

The first friend is the pine tree, the second is the plum blossom, and the third is the bamboo.

The #PineTree (Pine, Chinese: 松, sōng) stands tall and strong throughout the year. It does not change under the hardness of winter. It stays beside him as a faithful friend would do. It is calm and relaxed no matter the external circumstances. This is also a key characteristic of the person that succeeds. Looking only forward to staying still in his/hers wishes and goals. No obstacles or any kind of difficulty really matters.

The #PlumBlossom (Plum, Chinese: 梅, méi) blooms during the cold and hard winter. This is what a successful person does. He/she has the determination to bloom no matter what staying focused in every situation.

(Click on your favorite #hashtags to read more...)

The #Bamboo (Bamboo, Chinese: 竹, zhú) is flexible. It can bend but not break. Flexibility and endurance mean that the person can always have a positive mindset oriented in solutions.

Continue to read and find out how you can use them inside your house for support and prosperity.

The Three Friends of Winter by the painter Zhao Mengjian, Song dynasty

The combination of the three friends shows a mind that stays tranquil even during bad external circumstances. A mind that has the wisdom to be relaxed and be able to react in peaceful ways avoiding hostility and anger. A mind that ultimately attracts a long successful healthy life.

#Fact: The origin of the term "the three friends of winter" is found as early as the Record of the Five-cloud Plum Cottage (五雲梅舍記) from The Clear Mountain Collection (霽山集) of literary writings by Lin Jingxi (林景熙, 1241-1310, a Song dynasty loyalist), “For his residence, the earth was piled to form a hill and a hundred plum trees, which along with lofty pines and tall bamboo comprise the friends of winter, were planted. (即其居累土為山,種梅百本,與喬松、脩篁為歲寒友).”

The "Three Friends of Winter" is called "Sho Chiku Bai" in Japanese literally meaning "pine, bamboo, plum". In Japan, they are particularly associated with the start of the New Year, appearing on greeting cards and as a design stamped into seasonal sweets. So you can use them to celebrate New Year and symbolically let them bring you their attributes.

In Korean they are "Song Jug Mae" (송죽매). We also find them in a Korean poem by Kim Yuki (1580–1658), where the three friends are brought together in order to underline the paradoxical contrast. The poem says:

"Peach and plum of springtime, don't flaunt your pretty blossoms; Consider rather the old pine and green bamboo at year's end. What can change these noble stems and their flourishing evergreen?"
Ink on silk manuscript of the Tao Te Ching, 2nd century BC

The Tao Te Ching or Dao De Ching is the text that describes the principles of Taoism. Taoism or Daoism is the teachings of the Chinese sage Lao-Tzu (meaning: old boy) who lived in the time of Confucius. The impact of Taoism on the philosophic mindset and artistic heritage of China and Japan is immense. Taoism (Japanese: Dōkyō 道教) is one of three great philosophies of China along with Confucianism and Buddhism and one opinion says that it was developed around the same time as the others. Lao-tzu (老子, Japanese: Rōshi) is considered the "old boy" of Chinese Taoism because according to the legend his mother carried him for eighty years before giving birth.

Nevertheless, the most prevalent theory of the origins of Taoism from scholars is that Taoism’s oldest teachings are those recorded indeed in the Tao Te Ching 道德經 (Japanese: Dōtoku kyō, Chinese: Dàodé jīng), but this was written in the 4th century BC by several hands considering Lao-Tzu a fictional person. The script in the image kind of proves that as it is dated long before Confucianism and Buddhism.

#Tip: The focus of Taoism is the individual in nature rather than the individual in society. It holds that the goal of life for each individual is to find one's own personal adjustment to the rhythm of the natural and supernatural world and to follow the "Dao" (flow, course, way, God, divinity) of the universe and it is connected with ancient Greek principles of creation.

So how can you use these amazing trees in your space to attract their attributes?

If you want to benefit from the three friends of winter, it is now the time to put them in your home. Put their image in the form of art on your walls, separately or together, or use a combination of the plants in a vase. Make sure that you have all three in your garden if you have one or out on your balcony. There are small pine and plum trees that you can keep for some time and then donate them to be planted on the ground when they grow too much, and bamboo is easy to have in a tall vase. When you give them away always thank them for their service to inspire you and protect you from the winter. Put them on the Northside of your house together as a triad as the North symbolizes the winter.

*Danai Fassouli is a writer, artist, self-development, Feng Shui and ancient physiognomy consultant, and a healer traveling around the world with the sole purpose to decode the ancient sacred truths and use them for her personal development as well as to spread them to all women and men that want to work for their own health of the mind, body, and soul. Contact Danai for consultation here.

*The articles are purely informative and do not replace the nutritionist; doctor and/or the psychologist and generally any specialist in physical and mental health.



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