What is Naikan?
Naikan is a Japanese word that means “looking inside,” though a more poetic translation might be “seeing oneself with the mind’s eye.” It is a structured method of self-reflection that helps us to understand ourselves, our relationships, and the fundamental nature of human existence.
Cultivating gratitude. Repairing relationships. Ending addiction. Opening the doorway to faith. Each of these is grounded in one’s capacity for self-reflection – the ability to see ourselves honestly and understand the impact we are having on the world around us. It sounds simple. But it isn’t. Try to observe your own body and you quickly realize that much of it is unobservable, unless you have a mirror. Naikan is that mirror — a method of self-reflection which originated in Japan. It sounds mystical but it is eminently practical. Self-reflection can soften our hearts and open our minds. There’s nothing to believe in. Just examine yourself and your life. You may be surprised.