26 April -
15 May 2016, in the most beautiful
time of the year in Laren, 20-day special event was held in order to
celebrate Laren Dojo’s 30th Anniversary.
The programme was as follows:
26 – 29 April, kyōkahō
(Ronald) & natural human posture (Mizue)
29 April – 6 May,
non-salt half-fasting (Kunikiyo)
6 – 8 May, autonomous
nervous system, yoga, hara, busshō (Maatje)
8 -9 May, survival
night walk (Ronald)
9 – 11 May, conscious
action & relaxation in Asana practice (Tomoko)
11 – 12 May, surprise
13 – 14 May, dharana
& finger yoga (Tatsumura)
15 May, celebration
I arrived in the evening of 5 May and was warmly received by all
those I had both known and not known. Next day, I attended the final
gathering of the non-salt half-fasting group. Deep self-observation was
expressed by everybody. Such voices from hard-working personal
experience are so
A slot of
several hours between the end of one seminar and
another is a time for cleaning and re-organising which the staff and
students are expected to do. There are always household chores in the
there are at one’s own home. Working together makes us want to
work and really
lifts up the spirit of sharing time and space. Okido Yoga’s
background is a
communal life, which idea Oki-sensei took from his stay in Mahatma
this day till 11 May continuously ran three intensive
seminars by Maartje van Hooft, Ronald Boin and Tomoko Mori. But the
before breakfast and after supper as well as the three meal times set
frame of the dojo life whatever the theme of a seminar is.
One of the basic and most characteristic
of the dojo life is the Heart Sutra chanting, the first gathering of
the day. After
reading the chanting, Mizue gives a short speech based on the Okido
The sutra talks about the essence of life: Void. Normally the word
explained as nothingness or emptiness. But these abstract words make us
When we are alive, we cannot be nothing or empty. So Oki-sensei
as not 'nothing' but as everything in the most balanced
state, therefore it feels
as if there is nothing. This is ‘void’ .... The last part
of the sutra goes
'... gya-tei, gya-tei, hara-gya-tei ...'. This means 'go, go, go to the
shore'. Again, this abstract phrase was interpreted by Oki-sensei as
practise, practise till you gain the truth'. Thus comes the Okido
'Unite your action and knowledge.' Mizue's experience as the translator
Oki-sensei's lectures is so valuable to us.
went for a silent
sunset walk after supper. The sun shines all day. Birds tweet all day
away busy thoughts from my brain. The evening pink light softens my
we sometimes made a bonfire. How nice to sit around it with whoever
with no need to talk, as knowing we appreciate each other to be a part
life. In the evening of 11 May, Tatsumura-san and Japanese students
May had been
planned to be a surprising day. This day, another beautiful one,
the awakening pledge. The idea of making pledges is for each person to
own pledge in order to connect his mind and action, but here we recite
pledges OKi sensei presented as examples, which helps deeper
the Okido philosophy. The awakening
pledge is like this, "By the grace of Nature I have now awakened, which
means that I have received the blessing of sufficient physical energy
This day I pledge that I will live fully, using all the energy I have
that I do."
breakfast Hatsuko Kanazawa gave a lesson. Meanwhile, I
was organising a sports day with Peter Huijzer. At Oki-sensei’s
we used to this activity maybe once a month in place of Kyōkahō. Mizue
to pass this tradition to young Peter. Peter named our sports day as
Olympics'. All participants mixed except two working in the kitchen. It
great fun. No wall of languages or characters, but pure laughter is
in the afternoon Anna led an art lesson to make a free self-expression
13 May two
parallel lessons ran for 8 hours. While Tatsumura-san taught Dharana to
non-Japanese group, Tomoko gave lessons to the Japanese students. In
evening there was a Q & A session in the largest group of 32 people
Then we celebrated accomplishment for people who had stayed for the
week programme, with a glass of beer or juice (or, two or three
On 14 May,
Tatsumura-san’s 5-hour finger yoga seminar ran for both day
visitors and the staying-in
students. Then we all did a silent walk to ‘De Dikke Boom’,
which is said as
the biggest elk tree in Holland with 25m in height and 7.6m in
and 450-500 years old. We made a chatty walk back to the dojo. The
topic became preparation for the big event on the following day. First,
held was a grand staff meeting led by a most reliable and elegantly
leadership of Marleen Reith. Then even at midnight, as the long
students turned to be dedicated volunteers, some people were still
May, the big
day started. The rain stopped and the sun was coming out. 22
people first recited Oki-sensei’s Working Pledge and continued
their tasks as
set out. The atmosphere was heating up to ‘joy to work - joy to
impression was, “This is the same as in Oki-sensei’s Dojo.
Breakfast at 9:00.
Then day visitors started arriving.
parallel lessons ran in the big barn dojo and the upstairs dojo,
visitors kept coming, old acquaintances finding each other, lively
on in a festive mood.
part of the
celebration day was watching Oki-sense’s video and opening the
which photos and the background story are accessible in another
clicking here. There was also a certificate presentation to two people
completed the teacher training most recently. These were Trish Dent and
Mackenzie from the UK, who had followed the combined scheme of Okido
and Okido Yoga UK.
lunch, afternoon lessons and more lively talks between old friends.
Remembering Oki-sensei's time in Mishima Dojo, we sang a song in a
circle: "Itsu-made-mo, taeru-koto-naku, …”, which means
ceasing, let’s keep our friendship. I say 'Good-bye' for today
till I meet you
between each other: nationalities, tendencies, habits, etc. Eating from
same pan, working together, acknowledging and covering up each
spots, as a family, works to create peace and happiness around us.
is a life-style yoga.
we celebrated 30
very-intensive years of toughness, happiness, tears and laughter,
making a huge family. Everybody deserved cheering each other!
International Seminar 2017 in Laren Dojo.
event is of two parts.
1. Wed May
24 (20:30) –
Wed May 31 (12:00) Yoga and non-salt half-fasting
May 31 (20:30) –
Mon June 5 (10:00) OKido Yoga Special (On this occasion, four senior
studied directly under Mater Oki himself, work together. You can also
participate May 31-June 2 or June 2- June 5.