| Jul 19, 2013

The influence of sports on meditation

“Running meditation.” It’s almost a cliché. Many people describe their running activity as a form of meditation. There are even articles that will teach you “how to meditate while running.” The Tendai-shu monks of Mount Hiei in Kyoto do a walking meditation, called jogyozanmai ...

| Jul 5, 2013

Japan's national obsession with the color pink

If the cherry blossom is Japan’s unofficial national flower, then it should be no surprise that pink is Japan’s de facto favorite color. Yet I still have a hard time with this national obsession with the color pink. Just as I was easing out ...

Exploring Japan's ancient past through pilgrimage

| Jun 29, 2013

Exploring Japan's ancient past through pilgrimage

I’ve been running pilgrimages in Japan since 1997. So far, I’ve run the Shikoku 88-Temple Pilgrimage, the Mount Hiei Kaihogyo route in Kyoto (of the Tendai-shu monks), and tens of other smaller pilgrimages in Japan. If you are a runner in Japan, you should ...

| Jun 22, 2013

To be or not to be? — they simply can't decide

Japan is often criticized for the time it takes to make decisions. The government drags on making decisions from natural disasters to nuclear power and whether to allow gambling casinos. Ha! You should try to teach English to Japanese university students, where it can ...

| Jun 8, 2013

Encouraging, not comparing, accomplishments

Aging Japan. We hear this phrase all the time. The question is, what are they talking about — the infrastructure? The people? Four Roses whisky? Everything ultimately ages. Even newborns age. So perhaps to defy “aging Japan,” we need people who age younger, or ...

| Jun 1, 2013

Everyone's own path to enlightenment

What is Buddhism? In Australia, Buddhism can be found in a cup of coffee. So waste no time and start your journey to awakening at Buddha Espresso, a cafe in Perth. If you haven’t reached enlightenment by the end of the cup, accept this ...

| May 25, 2013

English education and English sheepdogs

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to globalize Japan’s workforce and says that Japan must become more competitive in the English language. This has touched off a debate among native English teachers, Japanese who teach English, Japanese speakers who don’t speak English, and English sheepdogs ...