A Few of My Favorite Things — Japan

The list is building. Images. Experiences. Conversations. Insights. Questions that get me excited. Teresa and I have been in Japan now for six days. In the Kyoto and Otsu areas. Hosted well by friends Yuya and Aya, Bob and Susan. Inspired by the places I’ve been. Sooo enjoying the feeling of fresh eyes and curiosity to begin to understand the newness of this place for me. And surprised by the gift of jet lag — I’m wide awake and alert at 4:30 a.m.

Beauty — This photo is from a center of the meeting room for a Miratuku dialogue that took place on the first two days that I was here. I shared a teaching and invitation to beauty with the participants. I asked them to each name ten things that were beautiful in our meeting space. I then invited them to share that with a partner, and then some of it with the full group. Why? To invoke the energy of beauty that is already present. To honor beauty and what it does for the human spirit individually and collectively. To remember the experience of surprise when we give our attention to particular qualities. It is also my experience that Japanese culture has an attention to beauty and simplicity that is different from other cultures. This photo was taken near the end of the dialogue. I asked participants to each do one thing to help make the room beautiful. One person, Fumisan, gave particular attention to our center. Removed cluttered papers. Arranged the scarves. Added flowers and grasses from outside the meeting room. What a great thing to invite humans to be beautiful together.
Emergence — This is a model inspired by a conversation that Yuya and I had the first morning. It was one of the conversations that I feel I came to Japan for. Yuya was sharing how the deeper work he is exploring is about flow and emergence. About finding and seeing the invisible. I added a few thoughts about wholeness. This image to the right came to me as I was looking for ways to graphically bridge my ability to speak in Japanese. The inside figures are people that each have questions and insights. The arrows in the middle indicate some of the process of turning to each other. The outside green lines then show a symbol of the whole of that group with insights and questions. They may be similar to what individuals have. But the come from the interact of the group together. I loved our mutual sharing. That energy of the group is already there. It already exists. Through turning to one another, we come to see it.
Biwako — Biwa lake has been a home base for me. Aya and Yuya have welcomed us to their apartment home, four blocks from the lake. That apartment has been a home for friendship, sleeping, food, and internet. The lake has been a home early morning quiet, people watching, walking, and jogging. I’ve always appreciated, and needed, spaces outside to help feel grounded. Ah, Biwako, the largest fresh water lake in Japan, has been perfect.
Keninji — This is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. The people in this photo are board members from Miratuku. Yukasan, on the right, is one of Bob Stilger’s old soul friends. A fantastic translator also. On the left is Eisukesan. He is a designer, among other things. His energy is alive and fresh. He is the one that invited us to got to Keninji — because it was beautiful and inspiring. It was also somehow connected to the teachings of Kukai, a Japanese monk from around 1,200 years ago. He apparently was a person who encouraged and taught of wholeness. Eisukesan was sharing his inspiration from Kukai. The accessibility, the approachability of this place was palpable to me. There was a kind of simplicity that felt…familiar. To feel it in the Miratuku wonderings and planning was fantastic!

More to come.

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