5. Stop living in the past
It is human nature to dwell in the past and worry about the future. The truth is despite how much we think or worry we cannot change what has already occurred nor can we guarantee what will happen in the future. The present moment is fleeting and the future is uncertain. Living in the past or the future is nothing but useless and painful. Living in the present moment is one of the core principles of Ichigo Ichie.
6. Acknowledge imperfection
We all want our lives to be perfect. Most of us tend to believe that we are perfect. But imperfection is the very essence of life and nature. This is why we should learn to celebrate our flaws and imperfections, instead of being fixated on being perfect. Héctor and Francesc write “Each failure is a sign that you should take a different path. Each flaw is an invitation to polish a diamond. If you have the will to improve, then it’s perfect to be imperfect.”
7. Practice meditation & mindfulness
Meditation is one of the core practices of Zen Buddhism. The practice allows us to pause and observe our lives by being detached from it. It opens our mind and allows us to observe our thoughts and emotions. Moreover, meditation also allows us to be more mindful using all our physical senses.
The authors add “Train yourself in the art of listening, watching, touching, tasting, and smelling to give each moment the richness of human perception. This will also allow you to be more alert to others and increase your level of empathy and influence.”
Want to start mindfulness meditation? Read Meditation For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know About Meditation
8. Be compassionate
Practicing compassion is crucial as it can not only allow us to show kindness to others but also enable us to improve our own lives and be happier. Apart from offering natural healing benefits, compassion can also be rewarding for you, according to recent research.
“We think people are learning to find caring for others rewarding. You realize it may be painful, but it makes you feel connected with that person,” says clinical psychologist and neuroscientist Helen Weng, Ph.D. at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. However, keep in mind that compassion starts by showing kindness to yourself.
9. Observe opportunities and coincidences
When you learn to observe the coincidences in your life, you open yourself up to receiving messages from the universe. “Being aware of coincidences helps us get better at reading signs sent by the universe. A journal in which we keep notes of these moments of daily magic will increase our ability to follow the invisible threads of reality,” say Héctor García and Francesc Miralles.
10. Hunt for moments
When you stop waiting for moments to be perfect or making predictions for things to occur and start letting go of your expectations, you start to experience Ichigo ichie. Instead of waiting for things to happen, make things happen. Look for moments that make you and others happy on a daily basis and if you can’t find any, create them.
Héctor and Francesc explain “Be a hunter of special moments. As with any activity, the more you practice, the better and more abundant the results will be.” They add “What we are experiencing right now will never happen again. We must value each moment like a beautiful treasure. We must become moment hunters.”
Live in the moment
“One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world.” – Dogen
Your experience of Ichigo ichie largely depends on your capability to experience life through your five senses. It depends on how well you can relish every moment, how well you can savor what you’re doing in the current moment. When we do one thing at a time and do it with complete awareness as if it’s the last thing we’ll ever do, we will experience Ichi-go Ichi-e.