In the 16th century CE, it is recorded that the Japanese tea master, Sen no Rikyū taught

“Ichigo ni ichido no e no yō ni,”

a phrase which roughly translates in English as,

“A once in a lifetime encounter.”

Later, in the mid-19th century CE, Ii Naosuke, Tairō (i.e. ‘chief administrator’) of the Tokugawa shogunate, wrote about this concept as

'Ichigo Ichie,’

which translates in English as,

'One moment

One encounter’

one of the fundamental pillars of Ikigai,

another Japanese word-concept, which is often translated as,

'Reason for be-ing'

or sometimes,

‘What makes life worth living,’

but might also may be translated as,

‘What makes life inspiring and beautiful.’

So, when you sit down to tea

or find yourself engaging in any other activity, interaction or encounter —

whether you perceive it as sacred or mundane —

give yourself fully to the experience —

in gratitude, joy and wonder —

fully present

fully engaged

fully awake

fully alive

to the vast, infinite tapestry of relationships

which is Be-ing itself —

expressing, exploring and experiencing itself

in infinite variations —

myriad manifestations —

incarnate in this wondrous vessel of Light



“body” —

in this sacred, syzygetic, synchro-destinous moment —

this one-of-a-kind embodied experience

for which you have incarnated in physical form

at this exact confluence of space-time —







Thus as you go about the activities of the day —

wherever your path may lead you

and whatever you may experience along the Way —

experiment with approaching

every activity, interaction and encounter

from your ‘First Mind’ —

your Beginner’s Mind —

abiding in your Original Innocence —

like a little child, full of joy, curiosity and wonder —

open to playing with

and experiencing every thing


every one

as if for the very first time.




In loving, present awareness

of this one moment —



encounter —

this little sliver of Eternity.

For no matter how many times you sit down

with a cup of tea in your hands —

the fragrance arising around you

like mist upon a lake —

you will never experience it again

exactly the same.

For every moment —

every encounter —

every cup of tea —

is a one-of-a-kind,

never-come-again experience.

Whenever you catch the gaze of your beloved,

linger there for a moment —

do not hurry!



Take your time.

Linger a while.

Relax and breathe deeply.

Look deeply into their eyes.

Soak in the Light of their Innate Beauty —

their Boundless Creativity —

their Pure Potentiality.

Smile and silently allow your heart to open and expand

in gratitude and wonder

for the gift of Life —

to bow

before the sacred wonder of Presence —

as if gazing into their eyes

for the very first time —

as if gazing into their eyes

for the very last time.

For every moment,

every encounter

is our first time.

Every moment,

every encounter

is our



Not two.

May your every breath be peace, light and love.