Subtleness that Matters ∣ a cherry on top

by Augusto Cuginotti

Art of Hosting Japan

I recently received a gift of being able to join the Art of Hosting happening for the first time in Japan. Every meaningful conversation is of course fantastic, but this one in particular connected my passion for hosting learning with my deep curiosity about  Japan and Japanese culture. Talking to the participants I could understand that both things are more connected than I thought.

The conversations around the arts are full of patterns (or perhaps we are full of patterns), but also full of newness. In a conversation about the art of hosting this is no different, but obviously more become available to you when you dive into a different culture. Two were the things that stayed with me after the 3 days together.

①  The excitement and impeccability that I saw running around during all the event is a sign that you are in Japan, but what amazed me the most was the subtleness of actions and the attention for detail and beauty.

I was coaching a team in charge to bring beauty to our space. I told them that visiting Japan before I could not help but to notice that things were made very well AND there was always something else, usually small and perhaps undetectable, that would walk the extra mile. Like a cherry on the top of a beautiful cake, this attention was for me an expression of care and service.

by chotda on flickr

No need to say anything else – they decided to explore the five senses of beauty and to be beautiful themselves! Hisae-san, for example, came out with a fun and energetic way to keep us on time during the OST presentations – the videos will tell.

②  I never get tired of asking questions about asking questions, so I joined one of the groups working on that topic during OST. Most of it was in Japanese, but they gently shared with me some of their insights. One great question was around: where do questions come from? From a logical and mental individual process the conversation expanded to a process of listening to collective HARA (the physical center of gravity located in the abdomen… and more). Yes, good and powerful questions would come from the relationship of our centers, our energies.

by Denis Collette...!!! on flickr

The AoH in Japan was and will be a great support for the wonderful conversations and communities already placed around the country. I left feeling that people are ready and eager for movement and are making more and more sense of the kind of action that is needed and how the Japanese at this time can get together to answer this call.

From the other hand, the art of hosting (as in art and in community of practice) will definitely be inspired by the deep wisdom and energetic knowledge that was present in Kiyosato – May 7-9, 2010. I was inspired to be more conscious of collective hara and also to look at the invisible as something that makes being at service a place of elegance and beauty.

Thank you Bob Stilger, Tenneson Woolf, Teresa Posakony, Susan Virnig and Annie Virnig —  ありがとう Yuya, Aya and all the participants for creating this space!