Are you seeking ways to improve your life? With the aid of ikigai bio-hacking, making small adjustments to your lifestyle can lead to a substantial improvement.
In this episode of the Ikigai Podcast, Nick welcomes back Sachiaki Takamiya to discuss how Ikigai bio-hacking can benefit both personal well-being and the environment.
Encouraging the growth of those around us
“In today’s world, many people try to grow and grow and grow. They think growth is always important. Once you reach one level, then you need to grow farther. But for me, once you're comfortable, then maybe you move to the next phase of helping others to grow, or working on your other areas of life, and so on. Just limit the growth, and then be satisfied with your own lot is taru wo shiru.
And in fact, if everybody practises taru wo shiru, then the world becomes more sustainable. Because we can sustain a kind of wealth of comfortable level for each individual, but we cannot sustain the planet if a few people want to gain so much wealth. That's impossible.” - Sachiaki Takamiya
Sachiaki Takamiya is an author and sustainable life coach. He is the author of the Ikigai Diet and Ikigai Bio-Hacking: Bio-Hacking Based on Japanese Natural Health. He was a guest on episode 3 of the Ikigai Podcast - “What Ikigai Means to Japanese'' and episode 57 “The Benefits of Ikigai Bio-Hacking with Sachiaki Takamiya – Part 1”.
Coping with daily struggles. At 1:29, Sachiaki Takamiya gives his advice for dealing with daily challenges.
Yoshuku and Ima Iwai. At 5:46, Nick and Sachiaki discuss the terms yoshuku and ima iwai.
Zange. At 14:46, the two talk about another term from Sachiaki’s book, zange (releasing the ego).
Go with the natural flow of life. At 22:40, Sachiaki talks about the idea of being reactive to the natural flow of life.
Digital fasting. At 32:28, Sachiaki explains how an over-reliance on technology can create an imbalance, leading to the necessity of digital fasting.
Ikigai bio-hacking and planetary well-being. At 52:16, Sachiaki explains how ikigai bio-hacking is linked to planetary well-being.
Taru wo Shiru. At 56:27, Sachiaki expounds the term Taru wo Shiru (being satisfied with your own lot).
Coping with daily strugglesIn Japan, there is a practice known as Shinon Kansha, where people visit shrines to express gratitude for the good things in their lives. Sachiaki believes that this practice can be valuable for coping with life's challenges. Rather than dwelling on problems, he suggests focusing on the positive aspects of life and appreciating all the good things that come our way.
“Instead of paying attention to the negative side, we pay attention to the bright side. Then that can make our daily thoughts happier, which affects our health because it is considered that the gut and brain are connected. So how we think can influence our physical condition. So think positive, then you can become healthier. That's the basic idea of practising Shinon Kansha meditation.” - Sachiaki Takamiya
Yoshuku and Ima IwaiYoshuku is a practice that involves visualising and celebrating one's future success. To contrast this, Sachiaki coined the term ima iwai, with ima meaning “now” and iwai meaning “to celebrate”, to highlight the importance of appreciating what we have. He recommends practising both once a month, with yoshuku during the new moon (a time to make new wishes) and ima iwai during the full moon (the time of harvest).
Zange is a way of apologising for negative actions and thoughts. This is a practice done among the mountain ascetic hermits known as yamabushi, as a means of releasing one's ego and preparing for spiritual practices.
It's similar to the naikan process, where individuals reflect on both the good they have received and the harm they may have caused to others.“I do think releasing the ego and then recognizing your faults frees you. Because I think they'll always live with you somewhere in the back of your mind, you'll have this uneasiness or this sense of guilt.” - Nicholas Kemp
Go with the natural flow of life
Hara hachi bun me is a practice of eating until 80% fullness, and Sachiaki believes that it can be applied beyond the realm of food. Rather than seeking more, he suggests embracing a mindset of flexibility and openness to change because every event in your life is guiding you in a particular direction.
It's important to remember that winning isn't everything. Taking the time to listen to others can provide valuable insights, that’s why the Japanese place importance on the art of listening. Even when you don't say anything, people can still grasp your feelings and emotions.
Masanobu Fukoka, an author and natural farmer, believes that the pursuit of innovation can lead to more problems, and that living naturally can provide a more effective approach.
Similarly, Sachiaki argues that while technology was originally developed to make life easier, it has become all-consuming and controls many aspects of our lives. To mitigate these negative effects, Sachiaki advocates for the practice of digital fasting, such as digital free hangout day.
He also recommends fasting from digital devices at least two hours before bedtime and upon waking up. This can help develop better sleep patterns and activate the process of autophagy.
Ikigai bio-hacking and planetary well-being
Unlike traditional bio-hacking, which is generally practised in artificial environments, ikigai bio-hacking emphasises practices that are beneficial for both individuals and the environment. Choosing to eat organic foods is an example of this, which promotes personal well-being while also supporting the planet.
“Everything done in the ikigai bio-hacking is good for the environment. We try to find a way that helps both our personal health and planetary health.” Sachiaki Takamiya
Taru wo ShiruTaru wo Shiru “to know that you have enough”, is a Japanese term that refers to the practice of living within your means. It is similar to hara hachi bun me, in that it encourages individuals to find contentment in their progress rather than striving for having more. Once a goal is achieved, instead of constantly seeking more, one can shift their focus towards other aspects of their life and dedicate time to helping others.
In Japan, omni merchants strive for what is known as Sanpo-yoshi, which refers to a “three-way satisfaction" that benefits the buyer, the seller, and society as a whole.
Urite-yoshi - the seller is happy
Kaite-yoshi - the buyer is happy
Seken-yoshi - society is happy
Engaging in ikigai bio-hacking is advantageous not only to our personal well-being but also to the environment. Such a practice can potentially lead us to a more sustainable lifestyle, contributing to our longevity and good health.