This era of mass unrest, high stress, and alienating depression calls for the Japanese practice of Ichigo Ichie. It translates "one time/one meeting/opportunity." An example is the tea ceremony, which is heavily laden with a deep and appreciative respect for time; every moment is unique and unrepeatable. Those who follow the Japanese way of Ichigo Ichie keep alert and find satisfaction in the daily rounds of commuting, chores, office meetings, and chance encounters with friends.

In this paperback, Hector Garcia and Francese Miralles present eight Zen lessons for an Ichigo Ichie Life:

  • 1. Just sit and see what happens.
  • 2. Savor this moment as if it were your last breath.
  • 3. Avoid distractions.
  • 4. Free yourself from everything that isn't essential.
  • 5. Be your own friend.
  • 6. Celebrate imperfection.
  • 7. Practice compassion.
  • 8. Let go of your expectations.

Using illustrative material from movies, cherry blossom festival, the butterfly, the idea of memento morie, the Kintsugi philosophy, the power of synchronicity, they convey the bracing vitality of these practices for making the most of the present moment.

The authors hit high stride with musings on the art of parties, collective mindfulness, the Ichigo Ichie formula, and the ten rules of this radiant spiritual way (see excerpt).

We have always wanted to read more about ichigo ichie, and this top-drawer covers the subject with elan and clarity!