Thank you to everyone who joined us on Monday, January 23 at the University of Washington to welcome Reverend Daiko Matsuyama of the Taizo-in Temple in Kyoto.

Guests were able to personally meet the Reverend and talk with him over drinks and delicious crab cakes prior to his lecture during an entertaining reception in the beautiful Walker Ames room in Kane Hall.

We then continued to the lecture hall where UW Chair of Asian Language and Literature and Professor of Japanese Paul Atkins gave us fun introduction to the idea of zen. Zen has made it’s way into all aspects of Japanese life, from genkan to aisatsu, but what is “Zen”? Some might have us believe that “zen” is merely a word used for marketing to make everyday items sound more spiritual and relaxing, such as “zen humidifiers,” “zen thermostats,” “zen tea,” or “ultra zen cross-trainer shoes.” We recognize that Zen is more than a mere marketing term, but it is difficult to define the religion when Zen itself rejects being defined by language.

Reverend Daiko Matsuyama managed to walk us through the basics of zen training and practices. He then showed us how, in four simple rules, zen is applied to business. Those rules were exemplified in the showing of a short film on a kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto known as “Sakurada.”

After a Q&A session filled with interesting questions and impressive answers, the evening was brought to a close.

We had a magnificent time and hope all those who attended did as well. We hope you were able to walk away from this event having learned something and with new ideas on zen that may be applied to any future business endeavors. Thank you!

For more photos from our event, check out our Facebook.

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