‘The greater the doubt, the greater the awakening, the smaller the doubt, the smaller the awakening. No doubt, no awakening.’ 

C.C. Chang – ‘The Practice of Zen’

Text: Betty Croll, organiser ESC 2020

Dear Shiatsu lover,

Last week I came across this quote from C.C. Chang and it struck me at once! For me, life is about waking up: waking to ideas, to understanding, to feelings, meanings and so on…

Right now – when uncertainty is the only certainty – perhaps we’re being offered the opportunity to become more aware and more awake?

Since March, doubt has been all around us – Covid 19 had us in its grip and lock-down spread across the globe. Now 3 months later, everything is loosening up a bit but doubt still dominates the picture.

We, in the ESC 2020 organising team, also had our doubts: can we possibly go ahead with the congress, and if so, how? Is it responsible to bring people together from all over Europe? Can we use the different locations in a safe and responsible way? Are we even able to organise a conference of this size with the continually changing rules – which are often vague and open to interpretation? Can this still be the congress we envisaged 2,5 years ago? All sorts of questions and so many doubts…

When used properly, doubt can broaden our horizons and unveil our eyes to truths, often obscured by prejudice and belief. When you reach complete certainty, you close down the possibilities for further awakening!

We thought long and hard about cancelling or postponing, but somewhere deep inside was a feeling that we should go ahead. It feels so important now to be led by trust rather than by fear – to strengthen our emotional and social togetherness and connection, despite the current constraints…

More than 85% of you – our teachers and visitors – have told us that you do still want to come and join us if possible, so we’re not alone in our feelings. It is with this wonderful spirit of support and positivity that we’re going ahead and organising the congress.

Of course, we’ll assiduously follow all the government guidelines and take all possible safety measures and precautions, with ventilated locations, physical distancing, hand washing etc – that’s our responsibility.

For those who sadly can’t make it here, we’re organising the ESC Online. This will include webinar workshops, exercises, qigong, breakout rooms for group discussions, music, cooking and live stream from Amsterdam.

Doubt is still here of course – nothing is ever certain. But we have great faith in the future, in each other and in the Shiatsu community – there’s no doubt about that!

Love, Betty