Ichigo Ichie: The Japanese Art of Living Every Moment

Ichigo Ichie The Japanese Art of Living Every Moment

Ichigo ichie and the butterfly effect

Authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles writeOne way to consider the transformative weight of single moments is through the famous chaos theory concept of the butterfly effect.

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 “crucial connection between Ichigo ichie and the butterfly effect.” They explain “Though we never know the final consequences of our actions and decisions, every moment holds an essential value. What you do now will have a unique and totally different result from what you might do at another 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

“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 “lead a happier, more fulfilled life, without feeling weighed down by the past or anxious about the future. You’ll learn to live fully in the present, acknowledging and appreciating the gift of every moment,” say authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles.

Know more about Zen Buddhism. Read 100 Best Zen Sayings And Proverbs That Will Make You Feel Peaceful

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 experiences the happiness instilled at this moment. This moment is always the best one of your life. “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.

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: 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. Héctor García and Francesc Miralles explain “Don’t wait for the right circumstances – a vacation, a trip, a birthday- to experience extraordinary things. With the right frame of mind, every day can be a celebration.”

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 add “Zen teaches us to simply sit and embrace the moment, with no further ambitions than this. If we are with other people, we celebrate their company as a gift.

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