Back in Japan once again.
Second attempt to survive my dreaded urban life
in the consumer-culture capital of Tokyo.
Once I form a solid vision and have a community to thrive with,
I think I'll be more positively enthusiastic.
Community is essential.
Before I go back to Tokyo though
I'm attending the Peace as a Global Language Conference in Hyogo.
I actually first heard about this conference from a lady on Orcas island!
Then my brother who is currently apprenticing with a taiko drumming group,
Kodo*, encouraged me and my parents to attend.
I generally get motivated to do something when two unrelated (trustworthy?) sources endorse it.
Simple man I am.
The workshop I'm facilitating is going to be on Compassionate Communication
(aka Nonviolent Communication).
*Kodo is an amazing taiko drumming group and if you ever have a chance to see them I highly recommend it. You can get a sense of their practice from the beautifully made video on their website. The apprentices go through a rigorous program of meditation, gardening, cleaning, traditional arts practice, singing, movement, and drumming on the culturally unique island of Sado.
The official description of the conference:
Peace as a Global Language will be held on October 22nd - 23rd at Konan CUBE in Nishinomiya (Kansai), Japan. PGL 2011, Peace without Boundaries, appeals to all those wishing to come together and work towards peace. The Conference offers an exciting line-up of presentations, workshops and posters focusing on peace activism and education. PGL also hosts a photo exhibition and workshop featuring the works of internationally-renowned photographers spreading the message of peace. We aim to include the voices of the young, the old and the excluded: the community here in Nishinomiya, through a number of collaborative projects; university students, who will lead a workshop on peace for teenagers, culminating in the creation of peace banners and murals; and the underprivileged around the world, through a Peace Banquet to benefit Table for Two
Then I am going to attend my first 10-day Vipassana retreat in Kyoto.
There was a surprising population of Vipassana meditators at the Bullocks,
and everyone had good things to say about the practice.
I remember a few monks and lay practitioners at Deer Park monastery also celebrating their experiences at Vipassana retreats.
My good friend A-Different-Kind-of Luxury-man Andy attended this Vipassana center in Kyoto too.
The practice sounds really intense.