Tag Archives: zen

Place Where There Are No Strangers

The place where there are no strangers is not a place at all; it is in our hearts. To me, the pretty cherry blossoms show the way how.under cherry blossoms’ shade
even those whom we don’t know
are not strangers

                               – Issa Kobayashi (1819)

When we can share feelings with others, they are no longer strangers. If we have empathy, “others” become “we”. Where there can never … Read the rest

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Irises and the Moment

Iris-garden-in-edo

In spring irises have been appreciated in Japan for a very long time.

Their vivid color and bold beauty have inspired fashion designers and kimono makers for generations.

The picture above is of a block print by the great Utagawa … Read the rest

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A Passion for Cherry Blossoms

Japanese passion for cherry blossoms
Here in Japan, passion for cherry blossoms run deeps in the national psyche, and anticipating their arrival every spring is an inseparable part of life bordering on obsession.

Pictures above are from nightly news national TV broadcasts in early March. … Read the rest

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Never a Second Chance

Kyudo-Archery-Western-Japan-ladies-competition

In Japanese Kyudo archery, the practitioner is taught to treat each and every shot as though it is the only one he or she will ever shoot in life, and there will never be a second chance.

There are no … Read the rest

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Seeing Beauty in Imperfection

wabi-sabi

At the core of Japanese world view is the concept of Wabi Sabi. It is an intuitive, non-judgmental way of seeing the material world – beyond personal biases and artificial notions of intellectualism.

Wabi Sabi is not about ‘beautiful’ … Read the rest

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When Timing is Everything

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Sometimes, timing is everything!Japanese is rich in short, four-character idioms called Yoji-Jukugo.

These are zen-inspired expression of age-old wisdom in short phrases, and there are literally thousands of them. They have survived for centuries, and are still today an integral part of Read the rest

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Tea and the Moment

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Nothing complicated. Just a cup of tea, with some serenity!There is more to drinking green tea than enjoying its taste and aroma, or taking in its health benefits.

In Japanese, “Kissako” is an invitation call to take a relaxing, quiet moment out, sip some tea and reflect … Read the rest

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Japanese Tea Ceremony

View of the Japanese garden in Kyoto from the room

A while back, I had the honor of being invited to a private Japanese tea ceremony (Chado) in Kyoto.

It was a crisp, November morning and  Kyoto was adorned with glorious palette of vibrant autumn colors.

The place was a … Read the rest

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A Time to Think, a Time to Act

We have to think things through before we act. Hasty decisions can cause hurt feelings, wasted time, embarrassment and sometimes much worse.

Nevertheless, once we give something enough thought, then it’s time to act.

Plans, no matter how well … Read the rest

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Japanese Kyudo: Zen in the Art of Archery

Kyudo, literally means "way of the bow", and is often referred to as tachi-zen (standing meditation).Kyudo, literally means “way of the bow”,  and is often referred to as tachi-zen (standing meditation). In essence, it is a personal search for truth, virtue and beauty.

I started practicing Kyudo several years ago, thinking that it would be … Read the rest

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