Omomuku Heito — Close Doors, Go 赴く閉戸

Moving forward sometimes requires us to close doors to parts of our past.

Omomuku Heito means “close doors, go” — and highlights the importance of creating closure in our lives in order to move forward in a positive and successful way.

It is interesting to note that omomuku 赴く means not just “to go”, but more accurately, to “go forward, to grow” — in can even mean “to repair” or "to grow."

So not only is it necessary to close some of the doors on our past in order to move on, it is important to do so in order to move forward, and in some cases, to repair and heal issues from our past.

Mental Bandwidth Overload

Our consciousness is perhaps more limited than we realize. And our subconsciousness is perhaps even more so limited. There is only so much “space” that we can fill with the open issues that accumulate as we travel our paths in life.

How many times have we played the “what-if?” game with ourselves, to ponder what could have been different if we had taken different actions, chosen different paths? And while introspection and review is valuable for helping us going forward, it should be precisely for that reason: to go forward. And once introspection and review is completed, it is important to “close the door” on the past, and truly heal, grow, and move forward.

The Past as Security Blanket

We sometimes have a natural desire to retain a hold on parts of our past; in some cases, the past is a familiar security blanket for us, assuring us of a familiar and comfortable path and the familiar and comfortable signposts along that path. However, that comfortable path is a path that is from the past, and it needs to stay in our past. The path forward is our future.

Closing doors on the past is important so that we don’t clutter our future with the debris of life. As we journey through life, that debris accumulates: most of the time, neither negative nor positive, but simply just debris. Other times, that debris can be hurtful to us.

Creating History

Surely it is important to retain the treasures of our history, and keep them alive in our memory and in our spirit. However, keep the path forward open, and spend less time side-stepping the remains of history that are merely that: the remains of our history.

Instead, when ready, close the doors on the past, and use the lessons of the past to build the future: build a new present that will soon become a new history.

Kanji/Katakana Meaning
赴く go, forward, repair, grow (omomuku)
close (bi/hei)
door (to)

Editor's Note: This lecture was first delivered by Sensei in San Rafael, California on 16 April 2014, and then again at the Goju Karate NYC Dojo on 9 November 2022.