Learn to make every moment a once-in-a-lifetime experience with this definitive guide to the Japanese art of ichigo ichie (pronounced itchy-GO itchy-A), from the bestselling authors of Ikigai.
Every moment in our life happens only once, and if we let it slip away, we lose it forever—an idea captured by the Japanese phrase ichigo ichie. Often spoken in Japan when greeting someone or saying goodbye, to convey that the encounter is unique and special, it is a tenet of Zen Buddhism and is attributed to a sixteenth-century master of the Japanese tea ceremony, or “ceremony of attention,” whose intricate rituals compel us to focus on the present moment.
From this age-old concept comes a new kind of mindfulness. In The Book of Ichigo Ichie, you will learn to…
appreciate the beauty of the fleeting, the way the Japanese celebrate the cherry blossoms for two weeks every April, knowing they’ll have to wait a whole year to see them again;
use all five senses to anchor yourself in the present, helping you to let go of fear, sadness, anger, and other negative emotions fueled by fixating on the past or the future;
be alert to the magic of coincidences, which help us find meaning among the disconnected events of our lives;
use ichigo ichie to help you discover your ikigai, or life’s purpose—because it’s only by learning to be present, to be tuned into what catches your attention and excites you in the moment, that you can identify what it is that most motivates you and brings you happiness.
Every one of us contains a key that can open the door to attention, harmony with others, and love of life. And that key is ichigo ichie.