Ichigo Ichie - One lifetime, one Encounter

When there’s no certainty of the future, then what do we have?

I first learned the principle of Ichigo Ichie at an entrepreneur summit (yes, I know). The Japanese proverb, Ichigo Ichie, literally translates to “One lifetime, one encounter.” or “one time, one meeting”. The phrase was first used by a 16th century master of the tea ceremony, Sen no Rikyu. What this means, and can mean to me, is that each moment not only holds an opportunity for change or growth- but pleasure and a gift of presence.

No moment can ever be repeated- even if it’s the same everyday practice of making tea or morning coffee or the usual gathering with your friends and family. I think now, more than ever we will be valuing experiences and moments- because of these uncertain times. Connection and experiences will be prized (and maybe priced) much higher.

I acknowledge that many are struggling in these moments. Some are worried about what things will be like when it is all over, especially because it will be different; it will be foreign. And it is traumatic for some- not only losing jobs, income- but losing stability from certainty. Not all were prepared for this- cash flow and mind and heartsets included.

Ever noticed how time and moments in time, seem to drag on when you’re in pain? Or suffering? Yeah, me too. I know that if I hold the thought “we’re all doomed” or “everything is going to be different and I can’t cope” that moment drags on forever. It drags on and clouds everything. It clouds me and it can cloud you.

So, again what do we do? We practice being present. In the midst of this. We don’t have to feel obligated to do anything. We can just hold a space for ourselves- one moment to be what wants to flow. Need to fall apart? Forgive yourself? Love yourself? Be completely there. Take a slow, deep breath in – hold it for 3 seconds and breathe out slowly too. Try this twice- and feel everything.
Gift yourself presence. That’s the certainty we have now.

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