Pure Heart, Simple Mind ® vol. 8, No. 23; December 1, 2010
Official Newsletter of Seishindo(tm) – Old Japanese houses
Written by Charlie Badenhop, the originator of Seishindo
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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2. Old Japanese houses
About a month after arriving in Tokyo I began to share an old wooden house with a group of four other gaijin. With the house scheduled for demolition within two years time, the incredibly cheap rent we paid was a reflection of the poor condition of the house. Living in Tokyo and only paying $100 a month rent was something I never imagined could be possible!
During December and January it’s not unusual for the thermometer to dip below freezing in Tokyo, and I had my own way of checking the temperature on winter mornings. I pulled back the curtain and gauged the thickness of the ice on the single pane rattling window in my room. With no insulation and houses purposely designed to allow for a free flow of air, when it was cold outside you really knew it!
Another small winter inconvenience was the total lack of central heating. Central heating is a concept that has yet to warm the Japanese heart. I always chuckle when I’m outside Japan and someone remarks, “My goodness the Japanese have heated toilet seats. What an extravagance!” My usual reply being “With no heat in the hallways or toilet during winter, a heated seat is not nearly as extravagant as you might think!”
Nowadays housing has improved dramatically, but there’s still no central heating. “Back in the day” most people had kerosene space heaters warming various rooms in their house. This was not a solution anyone cared for, but in old wooden houses electric heaters were considered too dangerous.
Our house had four tiny bedrooms on the second floor. My bedroom measured 5ft.(150cm) X 9ft.(270cm). I was thankful to not have many possessions at the time.
We had one very small room with a porcelain squat toilet, and getting to do numerous deep knee bends a day, helped all of us stay in good shape.
No one had to wait in line in the morning to brush their teeth, because we didn’t have a bathroom sink. We brushed our teeth in the kitchen. The same room we took a shower in.
You see, with the house not having a shower when first built, previous tenants had made their own. There was a door in the kitchen leading out to a tiny back yard. The entry way by the door was about 2 ft.(60cm) square, and about 6 inches (15cm.) lower than the main floor of the kitchen. This area is the place where you’re meant to take off your shoes when entering. In our house this space was magically transformed into a shower stall! You turned on the water like when washing dishes, and then rotated a cutoff valve to send water up around and over to a makeshift shower head attached to the wall just above the door. Since there wasn’t any drain, what you’d do was shower until the water built up and was about to overflow onto the kitchen floor. Then you’d open the door and sweep the water outside with a small broom.
As I was taking a shower one winter evening the kerosene delivery man came round to the back of the house to deliver fuel. He knocked once on the kitchen door and opened it without waiting for a reply. There I stood with my hair all lathered up and my eyes closed to keep the soap out. I can’t tell you who was more surprised, but I can tell you he never entered our house again unless he heard one of us clearly invite him in!
Such was my early life in Japan. Simple, adventurous, and filled with many surprises.
3. The Beliefs and Approach of Seishindo Coaching
In Seishindo coaching we have a deep respect for the skills, abilities, and intelligence of our clients. We believe that you’re already “perfect” just as you are.
Rather than attempting to help you refine yourself until you finally match the image you have in your head, we strive to help you better understand and celebrate who you “really” are.
The more you let go of false perceptions of yourself, the more you’ll discover your inherent power and approach life from a more solution oriented perspective. You already possess everything you need, to live the life you truly desire!
In Seishindo coaching we believe the way we inhabit our bodies in the course of everyday life, and particularly in situations of threat or difficulty, plays a crucial role in our ability to perform with excellence and live a fulfilling life. A body that is relaxed and aware, rich in oxygen supply, balanced in structure, and able to move freely, is a body that supports our effectiveness, fulfillment, and enjoyment of life. This way of living within our bodies also fosters our creativity, emotional stability, and mental flexibility.
In Seishindo coaching we believe that short term high quality teamwork between coach and client, can lead to long-term sustainable change, and a better quality life. It’s common for our clients to engage in a two or three month round of coaching, then take some time off to integrate what’s been learned, and then engage in further coaching as needed.
As Westerners we’re used to trying to solve our “problems” through conversation, whether we call these conversations “coaching” or “therapy.” In Asia, people are used to meditating on challenging situations and performing Mindfulness Practices to help them gain a “whole self” understanding of how to engage their challenges more skillfully. In Seishindo coaching we hope to combine the best of Eastern and Western traditions.
If you engage in mindfulness practices, along with the “conscious conversations” had in your coaching sessions- You’ll be much better able to refocus your career, regain your emotional and physical health, release unnecessary stress, and engage in more fulfilling relationships.
The purpose of Seishindo coaching sessions (either by phone or in person) is to inspire, support, clarify, and expand upon the learning you achieve by becoming more mindful. You’ll learn how to take a leading role in achieving the results you desire, regain confidence in yourself, and live a more fulfilling life.
If you’d like to find out more about Seishindo Coaching, please contact me directly at email@example.com I’ll be happy to have a complimentary conversation with you, to see if Seishindo Coaching is meant for you.
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