The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ichi Go, Ichi E; One Encounter, One Chance in Budo

Eric Pearson, over at The Dragon's Orb has a very nice article on a saying that you'll encounter not only in Budo, but in other "ways" such as tea ceremony and calligraphy.

Ichi Go, Ichi E is a very important concept in Budo.

An excerpt is below. The full post may be read here.

In classical Japan a unique blend of visual artistry, poetry, philosophy and asthetic emmerged. Perhaps one of the more influential of the cultural phenomena to develop was the tea ceremony. In Japanese, it is called chanoyu (茶の湯) or chado (茶道;also, especially at Zen temples, pronounced sadō?). Zen Buddhism was integral to the development of this cultural activity, and this Zen influence pervades many aspects of it.

Written on many calligraphy scrolls in dojos and tea rooms around the world is the phrase, ichi go ichi e, attributed to the tea master Sen no Rikyū.

Sen no Rikyū (千利休?, 1522 - April 21, 1591, also known simply as Sen Rikyū), is considered the historical figure with the most profound influence on chanoyu, the Japanese "Way of Tea".


Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会) is a concept connected to the way of tea; it expresses the ideal of the way of tea. Roughly translated the phrase means...

"one time, one meeting," "one encounter; one opportunity," "for this time only," "never again," "one chance in a lifetime," or "Treat each meeting as a one time meeting."

This phrase to me speaks heavily of the Zen ideas of being present and mindful in your practice. It says to me to be in the moment, to focus on the now and to treat each moment of training with the preciousness it deserves.

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