AgeSong of San Francisco participates in an extraordinary array of exciting festivals and cultural activities each year. This weekend we attended the Obon Festival, which is the largest festival in Japantown with two days of games, food and cultural demonstrations. In the evenings, amazing Taiko and over 500 dancers in full costume bring the night alive.
Who did we meet?
We met Sensei Kawahatsu, pastor at the Konko Church of San Francisco and Shin Shin Gakudo (The way of the mind, spirit, and body). He invited all of us to join in sharing, “Mindful Appreciation and Meditation,” and “Arigato Gozaimasu,” otherwise known as the “Thank You Movement.” Each year the church takes many young people to Mt. Fugi, the highest mountain, and an active volcano, in Japan.
Sensei Kawahatsu has a personal mission to spread the valuable words of expressing Arigatou Gozaimasu, or “Thank you, 1,000 times a day.” He is a minister of the Konko faith tradition, who believes that humanity should not be divided by negativity, but instead be joined by unity and expressions of deep and mindful appreciation. He calls this the “Arigato Gozaimasu Movement.”
The simple practice of saying “thank you” (Arigatou Gozaimasu) 1,000 times a day is so powerful, he states, that it can eliminate all kinds of mental frustration, anger, worry and disappointment, allowing practitioners to find a deeper meaning and appreciation of life. Many people have been practicing this simple training and they have gained many benefits, he states. One example was a prisoner who could not sleep in prison. As he started to practice saying, “Arigatou Gozaimasu,” prior to retiring to bed, he began to sleep peacefully. He then started to share this with his family and friends over the phone. Another person who lost his father to an illness found out that his mother was also seriously ill. He found that by saying, “Arigatou Gozaimasu,” it helped him to realize that each breath that he takes is worth a million dollars!
At AgeSong of San Francisco, we value the moment and we treat each breath as a special gift. We are located in San Francisco’s vibrant Hayes Valley neighborhood, steps from Japan Town in San Francisco. We specialize in providing assisted living, “forgetfulness care” and behavioral health support for residents and families. Our nonprofit community offers residents, even those with health challenges, stimulating activities and outings that take full advantage of San Francisco’s distinctive resources. Please visit our Web site www.agesong.com.