10 words that have a mystical meaning or represent a philosophy of life

10 words that have a mystical meaning or represent a philosophy of life
Many cultures have a word that does not have an accurate translation. They are words that encompass a way of life and are specific to their culture and traditions. We already know the terms hygge and lagom, 2 trendy words that flew over from Scandinavia, together with trends in interior design and fashion. I wondered if there are other words that have such mystical meaning or stand for a philosophy of life. It took some research, but in the end, I found a lot of interesting words that I would like to share with you

Words full of wisdom

1. Cozy

Thanks to Tamara Levitt, Head of Content for the Calm App, “cozy” became one of 365 words that got its own mindfulness meditation for their app. So what makes “cozy” so special? Well, to begin with, it is a feeling, a form of appreciation, the enjoyment of everyday, fun things. Just like Pura Vida in Costa Rica, this word is so well established in Dutch culture that it is almost impossible to imagine our vocabulary without it.

Consider in what circumstances we use this term? You have agreed with an acquaintance to have a cup of coffee: fun! But watching a feel-good movie is also cozy under a blanket with a cup of tea. And how about building a sandcastle on the beach with your kids? Going to the sauna… sailing a boat or enjoying a good book in front of the fireplace? All things where you spontaneously say: yes, nice!

10 words that have a mystical meaning or represent a philosophy of life

2. Namaste

As it often happens with trendy words, the deeper meaning is a little beyond us. We mainly know it as a respectful greeting and associate it with yoga. But what does this word really stand for? If we translated this term literally,  Namah stands for “greetings” and te for “to you” – in short, I greet you.

The yoga mat, it is traditionally used to indicate the end of the session. For many people, this is a great relief to hear Namasté! Because if you didn’t know yet: 1 hour of yoga can be compared with 1 hour of intensive workout!

This term is also used more and more at workshops or events with a spiritual character. The gesture of the hands pointing to the heart chakra reflects in all its splendor the deeper meaning of this word. Through this movement, we send out a positive energetic vibration to the other(s), where a beautiful interaction of joy and gratitude arises. This movement and the energetic flow encompasses the beauty and the pure essence of this word. Namaste: The Divine in me bows to the Divine in you.

3. Pura Vida

If you’ve already been to Costa Rica, this word will sound familiar to you! If someone there asks you; hey, how are you, then you can safely say: aqui, todo Pura Vida! Translated this is: I’m fine!

Costa Ricans are considered to be one of the happiest people on the planet. What the Danes experience with Hygge, they experience in Costa Rica with Pura Vida. This term is an ode to the glory of life, the appreciation for simple, beneficial things, of cordiality and relaxed living. The positivity that is worn in both cultures is therefore the basis of why they are among the happiest on our planet.

It is said that you will not understand the true value of Pura Vida until you have been to Costa Rica: it is a feeling, an attitude, it is bliss and a real relaxed lifestyle! It symbolizes the purity of life. In short, it’s Pura Vida!

4. Wabi Sabi

10 words that have a mystical meaning or represent a philosophy of life

This Japanese term fits very nicely into the zeitgeist of the Now Age. Wabi-Sabi is one such word that teaches us to look at things in a different way. It stands for the beauty of imperfection and transience, accepting the natural flow of life.

In our hectic society, many can find solace in the power of Wabi-Sabi. It embraces finding peace for those who strive for perfection in life or who struggle to let go of the past.

However, you do not have to delve into this Japanese wisdom, we already know many of these insights in Mindfulness and self-care. Autumn also symbolizes the transience part of life. Yet this provides a beautiful color palette in nature. Even though the leaves lie imperfectly on the ground, it still has something of serenity and gives so much peace.

5. Ubuntu

Not to be confused with the operating system for your laptop, Ubuntu is a life philosophy native to South Africa. Literally translated it means “I am because we are”.

Ubuntu is a way of life from which we as a society can learn a lot. Ubuntu tells us that we can create a more peaceful world if we strive to recognize the goodness in every moment and person, no matter where we are. It refers to behaving respectfully and contributing to the community. This can range from something as simple as helping an aging person carry their shopping bag. It urges us to embrace the most humane form of ourselves.

Looking from the perspective of personal growth, Ubuntu teaches us to look at our own shadow and not to project it onto others. The principle of the mirror effect is a wisdom of life that transcends all borders and cultures. This is also one of the most transformative processes we apply in coaching.

10 words that have a mystical meaning or represent a philosophy of life

Even more gems

To close this list, I’ll give you a brief description with these beautiful words:

  • Karuna: Coming from Sanskrit, it teaches us the principle of compassion, the art of compassion. Not to be confused with pity, compassion teaches us to understand others without losing ourselves in pity.
  • Yugen : This Japanese word describes the feeling one experiences when seeing natural splendor. Think of the moon, a sunset, mountains, snow etc. This feeling makes us aware that we are part of a Universe, something bigger than ourselves, a mystical feeling.
  • Nyepi: Hailing from Bali. More than a word, it’s a holy day. On March 17, the people of Bali dedicate themselves to a day of silence and reflection. An ideal moment to immerse yourself in self-reflection and meditation, but above all to cover yourself in silence.
  • Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism. You can translate it as ‘the beginner’s mind. Learning to look at things with a fresh look, an open mind and without prejudice. Just think of meditation: start your meditation, every time with the gaze of a novice.
  • Gluggavedur : Forget hygge and lagom, the latest trend in mindfulness comes from Iceland. Gluggavedur stands for looking from the window and enjoying the bad weather. Let this weather inspire you to relax, reflect, while looking outside and learning to discover the beauty of a drizzly day.


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