Authors: Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles (Bestselling authors of IKIGAI)

Recently, I’ve been into Japanese self-help books. There’s something in them that pulls me, maybe it’s the Japanese lifestyle concepts. Given the high level stress of every day reality, turning to Japanese culture for guidance in securing moment of peace and quiet seems to catch my attention. For starter, I am featuring this book that talks about finding happiness by living fully in the present. To value each moment like a beautiful treasure.

The book is presented in three (3) parts: Part I: The Beauty of Impermanence; Part II: Living Ichigo Ichie and Part III: The Little School of Ichigo Ichie. It started with a beautifully written prologue, set in an old tea room in Kyoto, Japan where the concept of book was born.

As explained in the book, “every moment in our life happens only once, and if we let it slip way, we lose it forever – an idea captured by the Japanese phrase Ichigo Ichie (pronounced itchy-Go itchy-A)”.

Quiet moment with book and tea

It concluded ten principles that sum up the philosophy we’ve learned from the book.

  1. Don’t postpone special moments. (Life is a question of NOW or NEVER)
  2. Live as if this were going to happen only once in your life.
  3. Dwell in the present.
  4. Do something you’ve never done before.
  5. Practice zazen.
  6. Apply mindfulness to your five senses.
  7. Notice coincidences.
  8. Make every gathering a party.
  9. If you don’t like what there is, make something different.
  10. Be a hunter of special moments.

Sharing with you a personal experience appreciating the beauty of this old concept. Life is made of many simple but special moments. Just like the photo below, taken last October 2019, waiting for our train bound to Namba from Kansai airport. Ordinary moment of waiting but feeling extraordinary of being able to visit the land of the rising sun for the first time. We must value each moment like a unique gift because every moment in our life only happens once.

October 2019 – Kansai, Japan

Presence is the greatest gift we can offer. The noise in our lives does not come from outside, but rather from our own mind. Presence occurs when our thinking mind quiets and all our attention is focused to the present moment. Suddenly, we can really feel that each present moment will never come again. The now is all there is and if we are not paying attention, we will miss it.

When we fully experience each moment, life’s beauty is magnified. Look around and you’ll see that today is a unique gift. The clouds formation in the sky, the exact weather and the sunset – all of these are unique right at its exact moment.

If you are into inspirational type of books, you may want to add this to your selection, truly a timeless piece, helping you align your soul with the peaceful flow of life. No matter what seasons in life you maybe.

Happy reading!