In my search for freedom and inner liberation, I became interested in Far East philosophy. In particular, buddhism and zen. Naturally, Japan fascinated me. A mix between tradition and modernity, discipline and aestheticism.
Here are a few things I love about this culture, which I discover more and more over time :
Tea ceremony, zen meditation, beauty of the gardens you can find in the temples, are some examples of it. Search for simplicity, for aestheticism without artifice, which allows our mind to remain focused and free of all unnecessary thought, while honoring nature and the place of man in nature.
I love animes ! (Your Name, Studio Ghibli, The Boy and the Beast,…) ! I love when it’s full of life, when it’s like painting of life in Japan, full of poetry and beauty. Visual work, colors, careful details are fascinating. The story told is often like a teaching, full of poetry. I think it allows us to detach from our western conditioning.
To take distance and to wrap our mind in another way of life.
Another thing I like : the video games ! How creative ! I especially like role playing games (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Xenoblade, Star Ocean,…) because they are a promise of a wonderful journey with strong characters, their friendship is often addicting !
I’m also discovering mangas, it’s too recent for me to speak about it, but I’m sure I will find in them all the elements I like.
Zen masters (of course !)
Their wisdom, the way they express things of life in a direct and deep manner, going straight to the essential to show us the truth.
Teachings about the everyday life, it really changed my approach to existence.
Bankei, Bassui, Ikkyu are masters I particularly like. A more recent one, who brought zen to the west, is Shunryu Suzuki. I like him for his kindness and simplicity.
I also admire the awareness of the ephemeral. Spring is a nice example, with Sakura, the cherry blossom. It’s a moment that celebrates transience, eternal movement of life cycles, things that just make a rapid passage in our lives.
That I discover, so I can’t tell a lot about it. In the West, you just know the usual makis, sushis, soups,… Actually, I discovered a particular way of eating, copied from the habits they have in zen temples. It was during a zen sesshin (retreat) in Belgium in 2018.
I’m looking forward to learning more about preparing the fruits and vegetables, non transformed, and to discovering various tastes (salt, sweet, bitterness, spicy, etc…).
Decoration in Japanese restaurant “Osaka Pluies”, Arras.