We woke up this morning with the sun rising over beautiful mountain ranges. Our rooms had a wonderful view of the japanese countryside. Everything was lush and blooming and some of our group had a refreshing meditation near a mountain spring in the forest. Everyone felt very relaxed, especially coming from hectic Tokyo.
After a three hour bus journey we arrived at Mito, the capital of Ibaraki prefecture. It is situated 140 kilometres northeast of Tokyo. After a lovely Indian lunch we had a two and a half hour workshop. The venue was a conference room, filled with an eager audience different from the ones we had before including housewives, working people, parents. Many of them were parents of children with asperger syndrome or ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and were eager to learn about the benefits of meditation. First of all we shared our personal experiences and how meditation affects our lives. At the beginning everyone felt a bit tense, but after some songs the atmosphere changed and people started smiling, clapping along, enjoying themselves. It was the perfect mood to start the meditation session. After silent meditation we played some music to deepen the experience.
The last hour of the workshop was a question-answer-session. Opposite to our previous experiences the audience was not shy to ask questions and they showed big interest in what we are doing. We were happy to have more interaction and answered their questions about the relationship between meditation and music, and most of all, how meditation can help children with attention disorders. We demonstrated how they could meditate with the children and explained the benefits of that for the kids.
At the end, we were very touched when they all stood up and started to sing the well-known japanese traditional song “sakura, sakura” (cherry blossom). Some of us had learnt the song, so we joined in.
Once the workshop was over we were treated to some traditional tea and dessert by some of the parents who had joined us in the meeting. We continued chatting and sharing life experiences with them in an informal atmosphere. We enjoyed it a lot, and when the time came to depart, we quickly exchanged contact details. As our bus pulled away there were waving goodbye to us all.