Annica Makoto

Ever since I can remember, I have been searching for something... and it was many years before I began to realise that what I was seeking was not something tangible that I could collect and 'complete' myself with in some way. As my life has unfolded thus far it feels as if I have been awakening from a dream... like beginning to remember something so familiar yet forgotten, so long ago, surfacing from such fathoms deep below. I know now that what I was looking for was a path...

The feeling that one is on their path is a place of great richness. Here, there is less resistance to simply being, such that we are able to feel more deeply into this moment as the dynamic dance of life unfolds around us. As it leads us here, draws us there, we go with our centre: a point of stillness and stability we can ever return to within, as the sphere of life endlessly turns without.

Each of us has a unique light to shine, a unique path to unfold, and yet rediscovering our forgotten connection to nature is a beginning point for so many of us. What is a grassroots movement? What is green living and why would we choose to live more sustainably? What is living in tune with nature and how can we bring the sacred into every day life? How is it possible that growing a garden, baking bread or simply listening, beyond the words with our entire body, is simplifying our day? Why is it in our interest to pay attention?

Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of the Japanese art of peace, aikido, once said, “when we bow deeply to the universe, the universe bows back'. Perhaps this could be said in another way: as we look with beginner's mind at the nature around us, we will begin to more deeply understand the nature within us – they are not as separate as the external world would have us believe. Whether we work on the top floor of sky-rise office building or as a full-time father at home, the questions we are exploring here are universal: how to find our own path; how to drop tensions and augment health; how to keep centred through the storms we encounter in life; how to sleep each night nourished by the unfolding of every day... Exploring the way down to the depths of each of us is the core to our charter here at Ningendo.

It is a powerful time to be on this earth. Heartbreaking and yet perhaps we approach a point of great transition beyond our imaginations... Every day and each moment within it is an opportunity to realise our unique role in this great unfolding; every moment we have a choice...