It is March the Women’s History Month, while we celebrate women’s contributions to the humanity, let’s don’t forget it has been a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak COVID-19 as a pandemic. As of 14 March 2021, more than 119 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 2.64 million deaths attributed to COVID-19, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history. I hope this public health crisis served as a reminder to all of us that taking care of our own health is not just for ourselves but also a responsibility for everyone around us even those we have never met or will never meet.

I created the Karuna Wellness Beverages hoping to empower each consumers to live a healthier and happier life. The Karuna Prebiotic & Antioxidant Juice Viva is a perfect example of Karuna’s creation. Karuna Viva is a flavorful blend of Ashitaba, aronia berries, kiwi, pomegranate, beets, and monk fruit. Both Aronia berries and Ashitaba leaves have been used in traditional health remedies for centuries and today, many of their benefits have be proven by medical research.

The story behind Ashitaba is nothing short of legendary: In 220 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China, sent a whole crew to sail from China to Japan after he was told there was a magical green plant in Japan that had the super healing power to cure many diseases and grant longevity. Qin’s sailors found the Ashitaba plant on the island of Hachijo-jima, where the native islanders were known for their enhanced physical well-being and long lives. Emperor Qin instructed his top medical doctor to make him a special potion using Ashitaba in the hope of attaining immortality. Sadly, he died before the formula was completed. Karuna has resurrected that ancient formula, creating a one-of-a-kind elixir that features this legendary longevity leaf combined with other super healing plants. This whole-plant fusion is rife with prebiotic fibers and natural antioxidants, free from any added sugar, food extracts, and synthesized vitamins.

Many people asked me how I come up with each Karuna formulations. To understand the philosophy behind my approaches, you need to understand the founding stones underneath the Far East culture, especially Buddhism, I practice it as my guide to every day’s life rather than a religion, it is condensed with thousands years of humanity, wisdom, science, and our ancestors’ relationships with nature. Below I would like to share a book report by my 11 years old son Brandon Hu on Koyasan, a very special town in Japan.

Koyasan

Koyasan is a beautiful sacred area dedicated to the religion, Shingon Buddhist. Located in the region of Kinki, Japan, this place was founded in 816 AD by Kobo Daishi or Kukai. Kukai was born in 774 AD and passed away at 61 years old in 835 AD. When Kukai passed away, many monks say that he is ‘internally meditating’. Koyasan is like Kyoto but a way smaller. Koyasan holds many traditional buildings such as the Kongobu-ji Head Temple, Mie-do, Danjo Garan, Tokugawa Dynasty Mausoleum, and Okuno-in.

How the Buddhist religion was introduced to Japan was by a Korean kingdom, Baekje that needed help from the Japanese after learning the Chinese invaders planned to invade the region. The Koreans sent many gifts that were influenced by the Chinese culture, including the Buddhist religion. The Japanese loved the gifts and developed their culture based on the Buddhism. Originally the Buddhist religion came from India but later on lost popularity there because of the uptake of Hindu religion and Islamic religion in India.

Many traditional Japanese buildings are influenced by the Chinese style with a little twist. The Japanese didn’t want to be exactly like the Chinese and the Japanese didn’t want to give up their old religion, the Shinto religion, so they smartly renamed their Shinto gods into Buddhist gods. This religion is called Shinto Buddhism. In modern Japan, the Shinto Buddhism is still one of the most popular religions in Japan.

Most monks in Koyasan stay in the region throughout their life. They pray daily to pursue internal peace and happiness. They’re many different types of monks because Buddhism is a rather a philosophy of how one should live his/her life, examples are Christian monks, Hindu Monks, and Buddhist monks. A true Buddhist monk must never eat any sort of meat and is always empathic, kind, and wise about what they do and their actions. You will rarely meet or never meet a disrespectful Buddhist monk. That’s why many Buddhist monks can live up to 75+ years old with a very simple lifestyle and without any modern healthcare. Many Buddhist monks may predict or know when they will pass away. When that happens, they will get ready by taking their last walk around Koyasan and then choose an area, start meditating until their spirits leave their body peacefully and start a new after life.