Intentional Thinking

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Intentional Listening 

“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”

James 1:19-21 MSG

Lead with your ears. The Tea Ceremony utilizes all 5 senses: Taste, Touch, Smell, Sight, and Sound.

Today I wanted to look at Sound, or the art of listening. First off in communication, you have to deal with filters. When words are spoken, they have to break through the opinion barrier, the prejudice and pre-conceived notions on the subject, the body language and interpretation of you’re really trying to say behind what’s being said, and all this has to be processed and then compartmentalized for you get meaning out of it.

Unfortunately, since we go through all this, a lot of communication seems not to convey what deliverer wants to get through to the recipient. On top of the words getting through, there is usually noise happening internally and externally. 

For words to reach you, we stop time (ichigo ichie), and enjoy the moment. Every word we share has meaning. Every image in our thoughts have clarity. This is why we set up a space to tackle the senses. For sound, we find a quiet space where we can hear. 

Now that we have a space where we can hear, and lay ground rules for listening:

  • We can talk fully expressing the thoughts we have without prejudgment.
  • We ask questions without interrupting 
  • We won’t give advice unless we’re asked to
  • We give attention to the person talking
  • We set aside devices that may distract us for this moment

Fully embracing someone’s thoughts can be life changing for both parties if you let it.

Have Tea With Yourself

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Have tea with yourself

The Chanoyu ceremony was designed for at least two people. The tea master and a guest, and we will break down the meaning of the steps, the tools, the concept of the whole thing, but first, I wanted to start with this thought:

Regularly have tea with yourself. 

The tea ceremony creates a space for you to be still, setting aside the daily worries, criticisms, and complaints out of your mind for this moment. Remember ichigo ichie, and appreciate the time you get to spend with yourself and God while you are alone with your tea. 

So. Here are a few suggestions for this:

  • the place you do it should inspire calm. 
  • It’s ok to take time, and leave space for silence. 
  • Think of things related to yourself and the moment, everything else can wait. 
  • Notice the uniqueness of things all around. 
  • Listen to your thoughts as you notice. 
  • Reflect on the things you’ve notice and how it relates to things happening throughout your life. 

This one speaks the most to me. 

I have to ask myself often:

How does what you’ve notice, or what God has shown you, relate to you? 

What is God saying?

He never stops talking. 

He never stops listening. 

When we seek an answer. He shows it. Usually right when we ask. 

The problem is we don’t listen, or we don’t want to hear the answer because we know what it should be. 

Overall enjoy your moments spent enjoying the tea. It’s very easy to grab a drink and go. It takes discipline to enjoy and moment and get meaning from it. 

Your life is your proof!

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How you are living your life is the proof that you existed. 

Your life is a testimony to your existence, God’s existence, and that you and God worked together to bring about a better world. 

You’ve been setup to be the way you are, what you like and dislike, to live where you do, interact with who you do, because you have been chosen to. No one else with your combination of circumstances will ever exist, so be proud! 

It’s been setup, but how effective you are in this life has been left up to how effective you want to be. 

No one will make you take a risk

No one will make you pursue a love interest

No one will make you become proud of yourself

No one will make you learn about your past, so you can deal with the present strategically, so you can have a bright future

Those are all things that only you can do. 

And in doing so, you prove the existence of you and God being in kahootz together!

Unexpected Bumps and Experiences

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Unexpected bumps and experiences 

What makes wabi sabi pieces unique and different are the way they take their own shape and form. They may have all started off the same with the same background, or shape, or circumstances, but because of God’s plan and their own plans they end up very different. 

Have you ever thought about you and your childhood friends? We mostly had the same idea, to be GI Joe or Heman, but then what happened? You liked cars, I liked drawing, they liked chasing girls, and we take different paths. 

Wants and desires start to shape or even warp sometimes our vessels that started so much alike in the beginning. My life looks a lot different than some of my childhood friends. Even though I was different in thinking, I was already weird the way I viewed the world but I also went 3 different high schools. I made dumb decisions to allow people to steal things from me, I even joined the military before I graduated high school during a war that I didn’t even know was happening. 

But the cracks, scars, bumps, and the story the vessel tells is always unique and a beautiful one when it is being told from the heart. 

Don’t be ashamed of your story!

Inside an Ichigo Ichie

insideichigoichiehttps://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-u2rce-fafbbb

Inside an Ichigo Ichie

Let’s freeze time and look inside of an ichigo ichie. 

Every ichigo ichie holds a number of things to treasure, what you take from it is up to you. 

The deeper you look into each moment, the more meaning you will get out of each of them. 

I sometimes image a moment like a treasure chest containing all sorts of gold pierces and artifacts:

This chest we have frozen and have before us has great things. 

  • friendship
  • Words of healing
  • Encouragement
  • God’s power
  • Love
  • A memory
  • Learning experience 

Seek Balance

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Seek Balance

I think in all things God wants us to find balance. Not enough of something causes damage. On the others side of the coin, too much of anything can cause damage also. 

Our ikigai is found in the balance of where our wants and gifts we have meets how you use them and what you use them for. 

Seeking balance is the key to optimizing your potential. It’s easy to do whatever you want. In balance, it’s whatever you want making a difference and meeting the needs of many, not just you. 

God wants us to live for him. I believe that. But I don’t think that’s what he really wants. I think through balance God wants to experience life while he lives through us, not just for him. 

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.

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There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. 

I think we spend way too much time chasing after happiness.  We dream up great things and then start after them. To get there, we sacrifice time and resources, sometimes have to crush opponents, and something I don’t like to think about, give up some important things we’ve held onto all our lives, to make the dream come true. 

In this series, I’ve been trying to relay the message to also enjoy the journey. Your life, according to Wabi Sabi and Kintsugi, is unique and every detail about you tells a fascinating story about who God has created in you. 

In addition, you living this life, the way you were designed, this is your ikigai. 

  • We spend so much precious time looking for purpose instead of living it. 
  • We spend so much time chasing after dreams instead of living them out. 
  • We spend so much time trying to find the way to happiness, when all along, happiness is the way. 

Here is a popular quote:

“We spend our time waiting for the ideal path to appear. But it never does. Because we forget that paths are made by walking, not waiting.” – MarcandAngel

Go live life. 

Kokoro no Sentaku, Inochi no Sentaku

washhearthttps://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-sf3kh-fa84e5

Kokoro no sentaku, inochi no sentaku

I came across this phrase while looking at the kintsugi process. 

Kokoro means heart 

Sentaku means to wash or clean

Inochi means life

So it’s said, “wash your heart, wash your life”

The latter phrase though, “inochi no sentaku” is commonly known as “wash off the dust of life”. 

Living life can cause us to to get dusty, or a little dirty going through the things we go through. Some things we choose to let in and some we don’t, but still, our hearts become contaminated and tainted with the cares of this world. 

Every now and then we need wash it all off. A sabbatical from it all. A good soak in the onsen, or go for a time unplugged, off the grid. Disconnect from the world and plug into the things that really matter, the things that sustain you:

  • Your relationships: vertical and horizontal
  • Your mind: examine your thoughts and images
  • Your motives: what are trying to do? Does it even matter in the big picture? 
  • Your ikigai: how are you living out your purpose? 

Relax and take a little time to talk with yourself and re-energize your self by washing your heart, and washing your life! 

The Kintsugi Process 2

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The Kintsugi Process 2

Yesterday we went over the first 3 steps of the kintsugi process:

Stage 1: Broken

Stage 2: Assemble

Stage 3: Wait

Tired from a long day, I decided to take a long hot bath, my little personal “onsen”. 

Soaking my aches and pains away, I had the mental picture of my tired aching body of being broken, in need of repair. Who better to go to for repairs other than the one who created it? No one!

As I think of this process, I seek healing for myself, and to all of you who feel they need it. 

Gather the pieces, let them get cared for before we go on to the next step. 

Stage 4: Repair

After waiting for the glue to dry, now you clean the excess and sand it down to the bonding mixture, to reveal the real scars of the piece. 

Sanding to the scars is necessary to smooth it out before you can apply the first coat of lacquer. In life when it’s time to rebuild, there comes a time to peel back or sand down the layers we hide behind, to reveal what the core problem is. The scars show that there was a deep wound, and also a scar shows that some healing is taking place. The lacquer is addressing the wound. 

In a real piece, the first application can take 2 weeks to fully dry. It takes time to heal wounds. 

Stage 5: Reveal

While the lacquer is still moist, apply gold. This reinforces the joints of the new piece and strengthens the once broken pieces. 

Oils and different polishes are applied to make it shine brilliantly. This is work being put into the once broke object. 

Stage 6: Sublimate (channel, divert, control)

This is putting your energy into it to make it work. All that you have done working towards its rebirth, admire its uniqueness, and strength. The cracks sing of its history, and appreciate the new piece’s imperfections as perfection in it’s story. (Wabi Sabi at its finest!)

Your story is unique to you, and is a reflection of all the experiences you’ve gone through. I’d like to say, you shine, because His light shines upon you! 

The Kintsugi Process 1

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The Kintsugi Process

The kintsugi process reminds me of when we make a mistake or break a trust, we’ve learned a lesson, and we try to rebuild the relationship. 

For today, picture a relationship, or a promise, or your walk with the Lord, or anything of value as an object. 

Stage 1: Break

Something happens to where the object gets broken. A mistake, temptation, maybe even something deliberate. A bad decision was made and we chose to go down a path detrimental to the object. 

It breaks. 

Stage 2: Assemble

To bring the object back into good standing,  pieces must be gathered, cleaned, prepared, filed, and filled. There is work involved. Real work. Caring for the object in all of it’s brokenness. The main objective though, is to make it whole and functional again. 

Stage 3: Wait 

The waiting stage is probably the hardest because you have take time out, set things aside, let time do it’s thing. In relationships, things can build over years, and be destroyed in an instant. When putting it back together, you’ll find that things don’t just magically go back to the way things were just because one misses the other. Just as before, time and experience will have to build it again. 

All this and we still haven’t put it together just yet. But patience is key, the end product makes it all worth it. 

Kintsugi 2: Revealing scars and not hiding them

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Kintsugi 2: Revealing scars and not hiding them

You’ve had trials and setbacks, and you have survived 100 percent of your worst experiences!

You are a warrior in this life! 

When we learn from our experiences, it gives hope to the future of others.

So revealing scars and not hiding them shows how you’ve received wisdom and how you’ve trusted God in healing the wounds. It’s also about how you find strength in your weakness, and perfection being achieved in your imperfection.

God knows what He is doing. The “Cracked Pot” story. 

Highlights on cracks can also reveal personal or even generational flaws and imperfections so we can stop the spread of hurt from person to person, generation to generation.

Let’s allow Him to put our broken pieces back together so we can be stronger than before!

Kintsugi: Putting the pieces back together

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Kintsugi: Putting the pieces back together

“So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.”

Jeremiah 18:3-4 MSG

Kintsugi is yet another beautiful way of viewing life, infused in art and practical uses. Basically it is taking a broken vessel or object, and mending it with the imperfections highlighted and reinforced with gold, or with something else that makes it stronger. 

Usually when something breaks we either discard it, or glue it back together and make it look like nothing happened. Kintsugi takes the broken pieces, carefully cleans the pieces, smoothed them, applies gold to them, and a new old object emerges. The damages repaired, but also highlighted. The cracks can be admired, but note that the piece is probably stronger than before. 

It reminds me of learning a lesson and gaining wisdom after a trying time that seemingly breaks us down and we have to put the pieces back together again through the healing process. We put the whole situation in the potters hand, and he repurposes it into something beautiful and stronger than before.