How a book, a poem and a piece of art all connect to my life!
It’s funny how things can go hand in hand and connect in the most unexpected moments, don’t you think?
As you might know, I live in Tokyo, Japan for almost 4 years now. And it was the move here that brought me more and more into Mindfulness or let’s say to define the practise more and give it a name.
I’ve been mindful in many ways before but never put a name-tag to it or saw it as a practice. But several encounters over the past years made me dig deeper and put more attention and thoughts to it.
A book and a poem
Along that path, I just recently finished the book “Mindfulness – an eight-week plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” (Mark Williams and Danny Penman). And while I’m not new to mindfulness I truly enjoyed the book. In short, it was a no-nonsense down to earth book with some good ideas and suggestions and a lot of food for thought.
So, whether you are new to mindfulness, are looking for ways to deepen your practice, are looking for a different, new approach or simply want a good read about Mindfulness, I recommend this book. And if you read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Let me know how it goes for you!
But that is not all. Because while I truly enjoyed the book, it was the ending that moved me in a different and unexpected way. You see, the book ends with a beautiful poem “Hokusai Says” by Roger Keyes.
And not only is the poem moving by itself, but Katsushika Hokusai (*) is present all over here in Japan and we have one of his arts hanging in our apartment, The Great Wave.
So as you can see, somehow it all created a circle. My mindfulness practices, the book, the painting, the poem and my current life – interlinked via a mindfulness book. It’s funny how it sometimes goes, no?
But you don’t have to live in Japan neither do you have to know about Hokusai nor be into Mindfulness to enjoy the poem. Why not have a look for yourself? And I hope it speaks to you, too.
Hokusai says Look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says Look Forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself
as long as it’s interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive –
shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees.
Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.
It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your verandah or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.
Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
are life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.
– Roger Keyes
I’m as well adding a link to youtube with a reading of the poem. Why not lean back, close your eyes and take a moment to simply be, and enjoy.
Or watch that youtube video and get carried away and inspired by Hokusai’s art while listening!
What do you think, do you like and connect to the poem, too?
Do you have a poem or book that relates to where you live or lived? If so, I would love to hear more about it!
Find your ease and take care,
(*) Katsushika Hokusai
1760 -1849 was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as the author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji which includes the internationally iconic print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Hokusai created the Thirty-Six Views both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fine Wind, Clear Morning, that secured Hokusai’s fame both in Japan and overseas. (source: Wikipedia)