Engaging in Yoshuku and Ima Iwai

What are you grateful for?

In this video, Sachiaki Takamiya discusses two practices that center around recognizing the blessings we have received, known as 'ima iwai,' and the future goals we aspire to achieve, referred to as 'yoshuku.’

Celebrating your outcomes

Nick: Related to this are two expressions I learned in your book, which is Yoshuku and Ima Iwai. So what do these expressions mean, and how are they helpful?

Sachiaki: Right, yeah. So first of all, with Shinon Kansha, because you pay attention to the bright side of your life. So not everybody have bright experiences happening. I mean, some people have a kind of negative experiences too.

But we always have something positive, even though general life is not so happy. Because I have never seen anyone who has kind of a negative kind of situation in all aspects of their life. I mean, maybe for some aspects of their life, they're not very happy, but they do have some other aspects that they're quite comfortable.

And on the other hand, I've never met a person who is absolutely happy in all areas, like someone who is very, maybe financially successful, may have a problem with their relationships, or may have a problem with their health or something.

So we are kind of a mixture of negative and positive experiences. So 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 often, the gut and brain are connected. Often, it's 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. For yoshuku, yoshuku is the Japanese version of a law of manifestation or law of attraction. Have you come across this concept called the law of attraction?

Nick: Yeah, I think it was quite a thing a few years ago, maybe more than 10, 15 years ago with the book, The Secret.

Sachiaki: The Secret, yeah. So the law of attraction is, if you think positive about your future and visualise your outcome, then you can attract that reality in your life. That's the basic idea. So they do a lot of visualisation practise to manifest what you want in your life.

Yoshuku is, instead of just visualising, you celebrate it. You celebrate your future success. So as if you have already achieved your outcome, and you celebrate it, and that will kind of materialise that reality.

So for example, Masayoshi Son, who is the CEO of SoftBank, he and his team, usually practise yoshuku. So when they launch a new project or new product, the team get together, and they just have a party, thinking in like two years time they have sold their product. Their product is like a best seller, and they're having this party like, ‘Oh, great. Our product is so successful!’

And then they're kind of shaking hands and drinking beer. And that is yoshuku. And other example is we have Hanami, a cherry blossom viewing event. That is to celebrate the harvest in autumn. So we do Hanami in the spring, but we are imagining the autumn harvest, the rice harvest, because cherry blossom reminds us of rice harvest.

The blossom is kind of a symbol of harvest. So by watching the cherry blossom, we celebrate the autumn harvest. So celebrating our success in advance is what yoshuku is all about.

Nick: That's quite an interesting practise. I think it's taking the law of attraction or that visualisation one step further, where you sort of physically celebrated.

Sachiaki: Right, yeah. So it's not only visual, but your whole body is involved in the process.

Nick: That's pretty radical, actually.

Sachiaki: Ima Iwai is something I created based on yoshuku. So this time, instead of celebrating your future outcome, you just celebrate your present outcome — present happiness or present success. So it is just like shinon kansha in that sense.

So you appreciate something positive happening in your life right now. And this time, not just simply appreciating but celebrating it. So you maybe have a party or you have a drink, to think about all the positive things happening in your life, and then just enjoy the moment.

So by making it a kind of ritual, it becomes more powerful than just thinking about it.

Nick: You've coined this expression, ima iwai, yes?

Sachiaki: Yes, I did.

Nick: So Japanese don't say this, but I do like this.