April 10 ~ Bob’s Notes from Japan #2: Impressions

Sunday morning greetings from Kiyosato.  Mt.  Fuji still sits with majesty on the horizon.  The food is still excellent.  The onsen is once again very hot.  AND, much has changed.

I’ve been in Japan for four days.  Listening, sensing, trying to understand what is present here — what is possible here — that was not possible before.

Last night, around a fire, some of us gathered to talk about the art of hosting journey in Japan.  I left after one cafe round, jet lag and too much listening filled my brain to the point of overflowing.  But, ah, that first round…

A strong sense that Art of Hosting is “simply” a way of being with one’s self and with each other.  When I starting doing this work in Japan last year, I found myself saying things like “this is the first time Art of Hosting has come to Japan AND, it was born here.

There is something about the subtle and profound grounding in Shinto which permeates Japan.  It shows up as this deep appreciation of the interconnectedness of life.  It shows up in Tea Ceremony, in Ikebana, and yes, even in Sumo.  It is a way of being.  One friend asked me what was difference was in Art of Hosting in Japan and elsewhere in the world.  In Japan, I think, it is this rapid remembering that we know how to be with each other.  We know how to be in respectful, supportive relationship.  Some of this has been forgotten or set aside over the last 50 or 100 years, but it is still deeply present.  The Art of Hosting challenge in Japan is to learn how to use this deep quality of beingness to now act together in new ways — to create a new future, now.

I arrived in at Narita Tuesday night. Escalators turned off, lights dimmed.  a quietness, a subdued energy present.  Driving in to Tokyo with street lights off and building lights turned off, it was like coming in to a different reality.  The difference was at a way of being level, an energetic one.

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