Ichi-go ichi-e

Ichi-go ichi-e is a Japanese phrase. It can mean "this time-this meeting", but it has a more expansive concept behind it. It means "for this time only, for each time is unrepeatable, so cherish and treasure this time as it happens." It comes out of Zen and Japanese tea ceremony.

I first heard it in reference to dojo practice. It is a reason to always finish a technique, even if you make a mistake or do the wrong technique. Because every interaction is unique, even between people who work out together regularly, the vectors and energy are never identical, you should always fully finish with intent.

It also means at any gathering, a family picnic for example, you should treasure the group and the individuals that are there. It is a unique gathering and it may be the last time you get to be with them. Even if you see them every week, this moment is unique as we are all changing. It encompasses the bittersweet nature of this life and the transient nature of our lives.

Smiling

They're smiling. That's a good thing.


'Ohana

Part of Hawaiian culture,  Ľohana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional). The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another.



Camp Time

Camp Time is different from regular time. Things seem unchanged from one year to the next. It's almost like the year in between disappears.

A conversation you were having at breakfast on last year's closing Saturday is remembered and resumed at the next camp meal.

You bow in and the taiso begins and it could be any year, any camp.

Other things will always be the same, the heat, the bugs, and then there's this.


Lessons from Grief

This is a quote from Richard Rohr, a Catholic priest whose talks are available on-line. It is from a series on initiations. He was talking about grief and the lessons it teaches, but that last line sounded to me like an echo from O'Sensei.
"...nothing can be a dead end; everything is capable of new meaning. We are indeed saved by gazing upon the wounded one--and loving there our own woundedness and everyone else's too (John 3:14, 12:32, 19:37). We can dare to be mutually vulnerable instead of trying to protect ourselves and impress each other. This is the core meaning of the Christian doctrine of Trinity; the very character of God is mutual deference, recognition, and love, not self-assertion, much less domination or manipulation of the other."