Ichigo ichie – Once In A Lifetime


Hello, welcome to “counseling & words” and to my word of today; it is the Japanese word “ichi-go ichi-e”, literally meaning “one time one meeting”. But before I start talking I have to apologise. It’s a rainy day in New Zealand, in Wellington today. Actually it’s FebruarY and summertime; but it’s raining cats and dogs, really. Anyway! Well “ichi-go ichi-e” “one time one meeting”. The term can be traced back to the 16th century and is particularly associated with Japanese tea ceremonies. I think this phrase is very interesting. It reminds us that meetings, gatherings, or encounters can’t be repeated. Any meeting is a “once-in-a-lifetime” occasion. Unfortunately we tend to be thoughtless and we don’t consider that the meeting we just had was unique. We might meet the person the next day again, but the next meeting will be a different one. A Japanese cultural concept is to treasure meetings with people. The term “ichi-go ichi-e”is often translated as “for this time only”, “never again” or “one chance in a lifetime”. The term reminds people to cherish any gathering that they may take part in. In Japanese culture the host accordingly must be in true sincerity take the greatest care of the gathering, and ensure that nothing is rough. The guests, for their part, must understand that the gathering cannot occur again, and appreciating how the host has flawlessly planned it, and they must also participate in true or with true sincerity. This is what is meant by “one time one meeting” or “ichi-go ichi-e”. Every meeting should be treated like it is the first and the last; and we should enjoy every encounter to the fullest, because it may not happen again. Well, how many people do you think you can meet in your lifetime? When will be the next time you can meet these people that you talked with today? If you think about it for a moment, don’t you think you rather grab the opportunity right away and talk to everyone with the best intentions? There is no more opportunity, but only this time. All the meetings of today like coffee talk, dates, lunch, dinner and so on, they will never ever come back again. It’s sort of said, I think. “ichi-go ichi-e” can enrich our fast-paced and hectic daily lives by appreciating and treasuring the meetings we have, because they are unique. Yeah that was about “ichi-go ichi-e” “one time one meeting” on this rainy New Zealand summer day. Thank you very much for watching, see you next week with a new word. Well, yes, enjoy life and have fun! Buy-buy!

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