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Simple is Sophisticated

Updated: 5 days ago

Today's trip to the fairytale-like town of Nara was as charming as its trains that transported me there, offering profound insights and embodying Japan's unique blend of tourism, modernity, and tradition. This place truly strikes a harmonious balance between these elements.

I'm not a typical tourist. I let my intuition guide me, seeking out places that resonate with my energy. These may not always be the top tourist spots, but they are where I feel drawn to be or in other words where I'm meant to be. Every day in Japan, I hear this inner voice guiding me through energetic experiences as I explore as well as saying how much energetic work has been done through me just walking and visiting places.

During that trip, I stumbled upon a beautiful Japanese garden that was on my route. Here, I found myself immersed in a scene straight out of a Japanese fairytale, with only a few fellow travelers around. While capturing the moment with a photograph and looking for a place to sit, I exchanged a few smiles with an elegant older Japanese lady. We both sat down, enveloped in the tranquility of the garden. At some point, with a silent gesture, she asked if she could join me, and we struck up a conversation. She shared that she lived in Nara and frequented this park on her walks. We discussed travel, the omnipresence of tourists and how much we are not a touristic mainstream. We also shared our mutual preference for simplicity over extravagance. She expressed that she and her life is simple and that she likes it. But she also said that maybe it is not sophisticatd to be simple but this is how she is -- simple. And then it came to me: "simple is sophisticated". Our conversation was simple but it took us to profound levels of understanding and perceiving.

I've always appreciated simplicity, I like simple. In a world where complexity often reigns, where we make the things complicated, simplicity speaks directly to the heart. The heart follows the simple. This sentiment echoed in our dialogue. After exchanging names (hers was Ikumine), we bid each other farewell. She even gifted me a ticket to a nearby temple. Our paths crossed again shortly after in about 15 minutes, and she insisted on escorting me to the temple, sharing her umbrella for shade along the way—a quintessentially Japanese gesture. She walked me to the entrance and we parted ways saying goodbyes, only to meet again a few moments later. What a coincidence or no coincidence. Such serendipitous encounters are said to hold significance, to have a message for both sharing that unusual connection. Ours was one of appreciation, respect, and unconditional love. We bowed to each other before she accompanied me to my next destination, where we exchanged heartfelt goodbyes (this time it was the last one), sealed with a warm hug.

This chance encounter felt like fate, enriching both our days with joy and energy. It was a beautiful moment that will linger with us long after our paths diverge. I am sure that it was meant to happen for both of us, to just spent that hour or so together, sharing some energy and kindness. I felt like she was god-sent to cherish my day.

PS. There's another facet to this tale. Before meeting Ikumine in the zen garden, I stumbled upon a delightful cafe (Zeze cafe) nestled in a Japanese-style garden. Upon entering, I found myself the sole patron, enjoying a serene moment with green tea and cake. As it always happens when I enter such empty spaces, places, after literally a few minutes, the cafe filled up with guests. Half-jokingly, I mused to the universe about being compensated for this phenomenon (because it happens everywhere - shops, cafes, restaurants…). Little did I know, the universe had its own way of responding. On the way back to the train station, I realized that indeed—Ikumine, whom I met later that day, gifted me a ticket to the temple—a gesture that felt like payment from the universe itself. Simple is sophisticated.

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