Thursday 14 January 2016

New year

First thoughts from Japan....

First for a New Year.....

"Once in a while

I just let time wear on

leaning against a solitary pine

standing speechless,

as does the universe!

Ah, who can share 

this solitude with me?"


Thank you for your poem.

And yes, who can share with me? 

This wonderland, full of love, in every snowflake, every smile. What joy.....

There is a Dharma in Ryokan's

poem for me.

Please let me share...

When we left our home for Japan we thought of retirement, meditation, solitude and peace.

What we actually got was a magnificent ski lodge situated on a mountain with an uninterrupted view down the valley.

Attached to the lodge is a twenty seat restaurant  that hadn't operated for more than ten years.

Our requirement for a residents visa to stay in Japan, is that one has to work!

So it's off to work we go, and what's more simple than opening a restaurant. It couldn't be that hard......

I remember in Zen (cha-an) there is a teaching; 

I Chi Go , I Chi E 

(each ee go, each ee ay) 

In Japanese this means ; 

"One time one meeting". 

This means that everything in this life should be unprecedented and irreplaceable. 

My plan now, is to make sure everything we do is based on this.

So we went to a local sushi restaurant to test out whether the teaching works.

It was as usual, outstanding, 

the rice was perfect, 

the vegetables in the sushi roll just amazing. 

The chef had a new one; 

avocado, he told us, that was sublime. 

The wasabi cleared the nose. 

The next plate was also sushi, with asparagus tips all sticking out, the same length, like soldiers standing to attention . 

We sat at the counter where the chef prepares the food. 

I asked the chef who speaks English,

"how do you do this so perfect, every time and don't you get sick and bored with the repetition?" 

His answer to my question was as surprising as his food and the message I got was this dharma. 

He said,  

"I don't get bored with the repetition." 

"The meal might look the same to you, but no two meals are the same, no two pieces of sushi are the same, no two plates are the same ." 

"Everything I do is vibrant unprecedented and unrepeatable." 

"You think they are the same, they even look the same." 

"To me, they are all different." 

"This is because I am not in a habitual thought pattern. 

I don't think "same old same old", 

"I don't think this is boring and is the same as yesterday and will be the same tomorrow ." 

"With that thought my food will be stale and old in a few days. 

"Most people get into a routine of doing something once and repeating it a thousand times, until the mind becomes numb." 

He said 

"I don't think this way." 

"Every sushi is different to me . 

Every mouthful full of love, 

full of flavor." 

When I heard this it was like a thunderbolt in my head. 

I knew what was meant when we become enlightened on the spot. 


Everything should be fresh and new and vibrant. 

Every meeting unique. 

It will not occur again. 

Each moment precious. 

It will not occur again. 

All encounters, 

every breath, 

every prayer, 

will never be the same again. 

They may seem the same. 

It all depends on our way we think!

We started to practice and found new tastes, new sounds, new smells, new feelings, that we had never had before. 

When we start to practice 

I Chi Go, I Chi E 

"one time. one meeting" 

like the sushi chef, 

we suddenly freed ourselves from habitual thought patterns and feelings. 

We allowed our world to reveal itself to us as it really is and reveal who we really are. 

Vibrant, unprecedented and unrepeatable . 

We are not all the same. 

If we are treated all the same, it would be a very boring world. 

It is not the samenesses that are important, but the differences that tell us who we are. 

Who we really are is vibrant, 

unprecedented and irreplaceable. 

Come and visit....


Sent from my iPhone and 

With love