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Letting things flow

"Ko-on Ryu-sui" means that like the clouds floating in the sky, like water flowing in a river, the water changes naturally without fighting, it is natural for things to change. This is a saying from China.

Similarly in Japan there is a famous poem from the book Hojoki by Kamo no Chomei who was from Kyoto that says "The water of the river never stops flowing...", All Japanese students learn this poem in school.

This poem continues like this: “The flowing river never stops and yet the water never stays the same. Foam floats upon the pools, scattering, re-forming, never lingering long. So it is with man and all his dwelling places here on earth.”

In other words, more than 900 years ago, Kamo no Chomei said that the world is constantly changing. With the current spread of the coronavirus, our ways of living have been changed considerably. As of today, the state of emergency in Kyoto was extended until the end of the month, and our practices have been canceled until the beginning of June because of this.

This is also "Ko-on Ryu-sui". During the 2nd State of Emergency last year, my teacher, Kinefuchi-sensei , said "Let's leave it to the flow of nature".

Instead of fighting against the changes that happen in our lives, we should let them flow. Some people may think, "That's absolutely impossible. It's not that easy to change." But if you take a deep breath and look up at the sky, you’ll see the clouds flowing above you and because of this maybe you’ll be able to see a new road opening up in front of you. When the first state of emergency was implemented last year, we decided to take the time to completely review the practice system that we used in our Dojo. When I took the time to look at this from a different perspective, I realized that there were many things that should be changed.

Because of this, I think that this way of thinking that is at the heart of this saying "Ko-on Ryu-sui" is helping us to realize that if we flow with the events that happen around us that we will find a new path.

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