Wa is the Japanese word for Harmony. Or more specifically, peaceful unity and conformity within a social group, in which members prefer the continuation of a harmonious community over their personal interests.
Rugged Individualism, consumerism, instant gratification, personal independence, freedom to pursue your own dreams have all pushed Wa to the side in the Western, and particularly American, culture.
In Japanese culture, Wa put the needs of the society and community before the individual. A very strict code of respect and humility, a strong sense of honor and dignity provide for WA. There was no God accept for the divine leader. The Shogun.
Is this type of Harmony impossible in the West? It depends.
Jesus provides the answer. Can we humble ourselves enough set aside individual differences and seek Harmony with the Kingdom of God?
Our Self is a troublemaker. It is our self that we must learn to control and ultimately detach to connect with life.
Self discipline, Self Denial, Die unto ourselves – who is this self and where did it come from and why does it seem to lead us astray?
It easy to get lost in yourself. Through consumerism, busyness of daily life, achieving financial security, getting the most likes or followers on social media, selfies we are Self Zombies.
Yoga and meditation have helped people detach and tend to the eternal now that exists within. The energy and awareness that exists when you sit and let the daily concerns, relationships and even your own identity detach from you. By observing them, in a detached way, you begin to feel the eternal, the source, The Way.
The Christian Self must die in order to live.
Jn 12:24 (NIV) “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
There are many similar passages. It sounds troubling but it really comes down to conscious detachment from the ego and your self desires to become bigger than your self.
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost ~ Luke 19:10
C.S. Lewis says that one of the differences that brought him to Christianity, from Atheism, was the realization that God is Seeking us.
We do not need to go through the rituals and chants, the meditations and sacrifices, we simply need to be aware of Gods message in our daily lives. Do not seek but accept the invitation to be received.
The Message comes. It may be a flock of birds, a young pan handlers’ face, a field of grasses reflecting the morning sun, it comes when you do not seek but remain open.
Something stirs – it’s His voice. Listen, it is The Way.
The accelerating daily demands and distractions blind us to The Way.
A peaceful existence is available if you understand that your daily distractions do not control you. That promotion, your child’s lessons, your mounting debt, your relationships are temporary and will all pass over time.
You can feel it if you try. Those moments when, perhaps looking at a sunset or sitting by the ocean, getting a hug from a loved one, or just closing you eyes for a moment you can find that place inside that is always at peace. Look for it.
The Lord Said, I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will have the light of life. JN 8-12
That light is in all of us. We must seek it and reconnect. This light leads to The Way. The Way to peace, the path of truth which is always at peace. Steal away a moment to find it in your heart – its there and it connects you to all that is real.
Anchor yourself to it and your daily demands become less demanding.