May Zen

After the Golden Week holidays, May comes along, and suddenly peple in Tokyo start feeling weary. There is a kind of existential dilemma, trying to live in the greatest concrete jungle in the world: consume, or get consumed. So you try to survive. You try to just get by. In May, you get wonderful thunderstorms: then the next day is sunny and lovely (and you would go to the beach if you were anywhere else on Earth). Today we had 23 degrees or so, that’s nice.

So, guys, keep on posting. Let’s tell people in other cities what it is like to live and work in Tokyo. It is special.

When I was in the zen temple, they told me to “cut, cut, cut”. It meant, do not have any attachments. Don’t be caught up by stuff. Cut all that, and see reality. Focus on your breathing. That is zen. I think that kind of experience is always with us, as we wake up, take a shower, eat our rice and miso soup (or muesli or cereals, it doesn’t matter), go to work on a crowded train.

“Cut, cut, cut”. Don’t be caught up in emotions about “how you feel” and how great it is or how terrible it is. Just do it. Go with the flow. Breathe…

2 Comments so far

  1. stuz (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 6:53 pm


  2. James Hart (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 5:51 pm

    Have you heard of Go-gatsu Byou – 五月病?
    Apparently it’s the drained feeling people get after returning to work after Golden Week.
    Anyway, I agree with you; this is a great time of year. It’s warm outside but not too hot yet and people seem to be taking advantage of the weather to actually get out and organise ways to see each other.

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