I’ve learned a lot about being alone in Tokyo. Life can be lonely here, and thats not a bad thing… ive learned a lot about myself. When your left alone with nothing but your thoughts, you get to know yourself very quickly. Thats why i wanted to go on this trip. For self-discovery and to satisfy my need for adventure. But i must admit that yesterday morning i felt very alone, and not okay about it.
I bought my morning yogurt at the same shop i normally do and i started my day in tokyo. It was raining and i couldnt find a place to sit and eat my breakfast! I was wandering around a crowded buddhist temple looking for a dry spot to sit my behind, and there wasnt a place in sight. In that moment i felt a sense of lonliness that i suspect no one call feel unless they dont speak Japanese and theyre in tokyo on a rainy holiday alone! At least they included a spoon with my yogurt, or else i wouldnt have even had my yogurt to love.
So i sat on a rainy step on the temple and looked around, not understanding a word of what enyone was saying and, well… i dont know how to make you understand this… i guess it was a series of small epiphanys. like this:
“WOW i am so alone right now, this is pathetic. there should be an emo song written about me and this sad situation. alone in the rain in tokyo under a temple…..” and then, “ hey you, sheer up a bit youre in TOKYO! eat that yummylicious yogurt and pull yourself together.” and then, ” holy crap i need to meet some one that speaks english, im strong but this is too much to handle!”
so i got up, put 5yen into the temple offerings and prayed to buddha that i would find a friend. But the only person i met was a wierd older japanese man, until that night when i said hello to a woman in the womens bathroom. she said helllo back!!! now, listen up.
I made friends with this woman; Her name is Maria and shes Buddhist. Maria is from Brazil, lives in Germany and she is here in tokyo with 2 other German women to go to the Soka Gakkai International Buddhist Headquarters. So today i went with a group of German Buddhist Women to the SGI Buddhist Headquarters to meet the woman in charge of the womens Buddhist division. Just so you can get an idea, these women have been waiting a year to meet this woman and to come to these headquarters. If you can imagine, this type of Buddhism is the most widely practiced Buddhism in the world and hundreds of thousands of people are trying to come to the place that i went to today!
They welcomed me with the happiest, warmest welcome you can ever imagine!They gave me books, took some pictures, and even an interpreter to tell me what these amazing Japanese Buddhists were saying! Do you understand? These are the rockstars of the Buddhist religion! I got to chant with the Vice President of Soka Gakkai International, in the SGI chanting room. This is so huge and so lucky! The headquarters was a skyscraper!… i mean, you cant even imagine my luck. The Japanese woman who they had been waiting to meet said to me in english ”…you are very lucky.”
In Buddhism that means that you have good Karma, a very high compliment. I cant believe my day.
All i can say is, when in doubt: Wish. Wish, wish, wish. Then cross your fingers and leap with confidence in the direction you think that you should. I have done that, and …I am very lucky.
www.sgi.org , see this for yourself!
PS- that wierd older Japanese man that i said I’d met yesterday? He came up to me again on the street today, totally seperate part of Tokyo. How freaking wierd is that? There are like 8 million people in Tokyo!