January 24, 2023 at 01:17PM

I say I do not like a trend of associating Sashiko to Zen/Meditation. It is true we can enjoy the meditative outcome by practicing Sashiko. However, as the one who has been thinking about “What is Sashiko?”, I share the stories why Sashiko is NOT so much Zen/Meditation. From one viewpoint – it can be completely opposite.

The significant difference is the “direction”. Meditation is more like “self-care”, and “Zen” is somewhat like a way to achieve enlightenment (or self-discipline). It is an “inward” direction, and the center of practice is “oneself”. Conversely, Sashiko was(is) a stitching to go an “toward (outward)” direction. The center of Sashiko exists in “they/you”. Of course, a practice can go both “inward & outward” simultaneously – however, without even realizing this difference, teaching Sashiko as “Zen” or “Meditation” is quite dangerous.

It is important to have a way of self-care. I enjoy meditation (Vipassana), and I absolutely agree with the similar meditative outcome of Sashiko – Sashiko Stitching can heal us. However, as you here listen to my stories, please know that Core of Sashiko exists in the “outward” direction – and we have this word in English – “Prayer”. I don’t know any Sashiko teachers who teach Sashiko as “prayer” yet… because I understand there isn’t much to teach in “praying”. No Right or Wrong in Prayers… right? My hope is to leave “No-One (who developed Japanese Sashiko so far)” behind in this trend. I am pretty sure… those who stitched in Japan many years ago, what they thought in stitching was not an egoistic self-care (or self-realization): It was the well-being of their family & friends. That is why, Sashiko can be powerful in today’s society.





英語圏での刺し子は頻繁に「禅」や「瞑想」の方法として紹介されます。確かに刺し子をすることで瞑想状態に入ることもありますし、そこから得られる癒しも真実です。ただ、「刺し子=禅」と定義してしまうことは、大切なことを忘れてしまう結果に繋がりかねません。

一番の違いは「思いの方向」です。禅や瞑想は「己」を大切にする(律する)為の手段や修行です。逆に刺し子は「布の補強=誰かの為の針仕事」が元来の姿であり、だからこそ思いは「誰か大切な人を思いやる」という外側に向くものだと思っています。もちろん、この内向き&外向きは同時進行が可能です。自分を大切にしながら他人を想うことも勿論可能です。ただ、「違いがあると思う」というお話を知って頂くことが大切だなと。日本語では同様のことを思う方はいらっしゃると思うのですが、英語圏でこのような話をしている人は決して多くないので。

#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


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