Ichigo Ichie: 10 Principles Of The Japanese Art of Living Every Moment

Ichigo Ichie

Ichigo Ichie and the butterfly effect

Authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles explain that one of the best ways to understand the unique value of every moment is through the chaos theory concept of the butterfly effect.{2}

Coined by American mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz, the butterfly effect in chaos theory is a concept that shows “small causes may have large effects in general,” explains a 2018 study. {3} It is based on the allegorical instance that a tornado can get influenced by small disturbances created by the flapping of the wings of a butterfly far away. According to an old adage related to the butterfly effect, it is believed that when a butterfly flaps its wings in Hong Kong, it can lead to a storm in New York. What it means is that even the smallest and tiniest change can lead to totally different and unexpected circumstances through the process of amplification.

But how is the butterfly effect related to the concept of Ichi-go ichi-e? Both Héctor and Francesc believe that there is a strong and close connection between Ichigo ichie and the butterfly effect. Every moment we experience has a special value although we may never be able to understand the final outcome of our actions and decisions. However, our actions and behaviors in the present moment will have a completely different outcome from our actions in a separate moment in time.

The Japanese concept of Ichigo Ichie incorporates the notions of observing and treasuring every moment to fully experience happiness, love, and peace in life.

Principles of Ichigo Ichie

Ichigo Ichie info
Ichigo Ichie: 10 Principles Of The Japanese Art of Living Every Moment

“The practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something.” – Koun Yamada

Applying the concept of Ichi-go ichi-e in your daily life will enable you to live a more satisfying, fulfilling and happier life without getting restricted by your past or anxious thoughts about your future. By bringing your attention to the present moment and living life as it unfolds, you will be better able to value the gift of life.

The principles of Zen Buddhism offer us some guidelines on how we can implement this Japanese concept of mindfulness into our everyday lives. Here are some principles of Ichigo Ichie that will help you understand and practice it better, according to Héctor and Francesc:

1. Live as if it was your last moment

Cherish every moment as it will happen only once in your entire life. As tomorrow is uncertain, it is better to enjoy and live in this moment than wait for the next one. Live every day as it comes and experience the happiness instilled at this moment. This moment is always the best one of your life. Ichigo Ichie inspires us to appreciate every encounter & experience and makes every greeting and goodbye to our friends and family special as every moment is unique.

That’s why it’s inspiring to greet and say goodbye to our loved ones with Ichigo ichie, to make us aware of the unique and once-in-a-lifetime nature of each meeting,” said Héctor and Francesc.

Related: 100 Best Zen Sayings And Proverbs That Will Make You Feel Peaceful

2. Don’t delay happiness

Every moment is special and unique. Every moment brings special memories, joy, and sorrow. Make sure you enjoy the uniqueness of each moment instead of postponing happiness only for special moments. Each moment is special. Every opportunity comes only once in your life. It is up to you whether you cherish it or let it be lost in time.

Ichigo Ichie: 10 Principles Of The Japanese Art of Living Every Moment

3. Celebrate every meeting

Do not wait to enjoy the company of your family, friends, and loved ones. There has never been a more perfect time than this moment right now.  You don’t need special moments to appreciate the special people in your life.

Build the right mindset to celebrate every single day and avoid postponing vacations and celebrations for the right moments.

4. Learn to observe

Be patient and just observe as the moment unfolds in front of you. Instead of looking for peace and happiness far away or in another moment, learn to overcome your spiritual short-sightedness and you will realize what you are looking for is right in front of you. The authors of The Book of Ichigo Ichie believe that Zen shows us to pause and appreciate the very moment we are in, without having any expectation or ambitions. If we are doing a task, we must enjoy doing it. If we are with someone, we must celebrate their presence as a unique gift.

Related: 27 Lessons I Learned In 27 Years To Staying In The Present Moment

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Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts