I find myself getting irritable on my train rides to work lately, perhaps it’s because I’m itching to leave and start the next adventure. As anyone who has ever lived in Tokyo knows, peak time is chaos. People pushing and squeezing to get on the train and then we all stand there like squashed little canned sardines.
What annoys me though is that throughout Winter and now as we begin Spring, men continuously snort up their nasal passages (pollen allergies). It’s disgusting, but in Japan apparently it’s impolite to use a tissue and blow your nose.
I know that I shouldn’t let minor things like nose snorting (and picking for that matter) irritate me and I should just let it go, so I try to remember that we are all connected, and send out love to the snorting culprits instead of irritation, which I guess is a mild form of anger. Hmmm.. It’s hard though!
This excerpt from the great J Krishnamurti reminds me that as much as I’m ready to leave Japan, every day I am still learning from these wondrous people, this land of extreme contradiction. For it’s our relationships with people, direct and indirect, that shapes us and enables us to evolve.
“Relationship is our problem, and without understanding relationship, merely to be active is to produce further confusion, further misery. Action is relationship: to be is to be related. Do what you will to withdraw – to the mountains, sit in a forest – you cannot live in isolation. You can live only in relationship, and as long as relationship is not understood, there can be no right action.
Right action comes in understanding relationship, which reveals the process of oneself.
Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom; it is a field of affection, warmth, and love, therefore a field rich with flowers.”
– J Krishnamurti, Collected Works, Vol. V, Action