This Ito writing….
Time flies very fast! Already more than a week has gone since we were together in Reims, France. Hope you had a chance to receiver yourself from the post Gasshuku “Blues” !
Please allow me to share “What I Really Wanted to Say at the Closing Ceremony” with you this time! (Thank you, Nagako Cooper, Tomi Nagai-Rothe, Lee Seaman, who helped me translate my message in English, and Patrick Bouchaud, who did in French!)
I was very humbled to receive so many words of gratitude and praise at the Forum closing ceremony. However, I realized that event organizers should have received the words of gratitude – all those who smoothly did their assigned roles behind the scenes, the ESC staff who created the new Forum-style gasshuku, and the group that gathered in Coye La Foret and started to dream 10 years ago!
Praise and gratitude should also go to Minagawa sensei, who led the last plenary keiko and assisted me throughout the Forum and in the instructors’ workshop.
There’s a saying by Saicho who founded the Tendai sect of Buddhism:
What are a nation’s treasures?
True riches are one’s faith in Buddha (道心 /Doushin)
and those who call it so (who have Doushin)
from times long ago it’s been said
that true riches are not material things
but that which shines light into a dark corner (一隅を照らす／Ichigu-wo-terasu)”
In the Shintaido movement, our treasures are the instructors and their assistants who hold Shintaido classes in their communities, spending their free time after a day’s work, teaching Shintaido to make “your body bright” and “your heart strong!” This poem by Kenji Miyazawa, a poet and children’s literature author, from the beginning of Showa period (1920’s) expresses the way I see the role of those instructors and assistants in Shintaido.
Ame nimo Makezu — Not bowed by the rain
Not bowed by the rain
Not bent by the wind
Not crushed by the snow or summer’s heat
With a strong body
Not bound by desire
Never losing temper
Always quietly smiling
Every day four bowls of brown rice
Miso and some vegetables to eat
Count yourself last and put others before you
Watching listening understanding
And never forgetting
In the shade of pine woods near the fields
in a little thatched hut
If there is a sick child to the east
Going and nursing her
If there is a tired mother to the west
Going and shouldering her sheaf of rice
If there is someone near death to the south
Going and saying there’s no need to be afraid
If there is a quarrel or a lawsuit to the north
Going and telling them to let go of this waste of time
When there’s drought, shedding tears of sympathy
Worrying with the farmers when the summer is too cool
Called a nobody by everyone
Without being praised
Without being blamed
Such a person
I want to become.”
Thank you, Marc Plantec!