Love is a Choice… at Otowa Waterfall and in Daily Life

At the Otowa Waterfall in Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, one can choose between longevity, success, and love by drinking from a stream.


The waterfall, which runs off the hills nearby, is split into three streams of “pure” water, and the tradition is that one takes a ladle and choose which stream to drink from. One does not drink from all three streams as it is considered greedy.

So which one to choose?


A 75-year Harvard study on happiness tells us that “good relationships keep us happier and healthier.” Being in a relationship where one can “really feel they can count on the other person in times of need” is good for our well-being.

If we follow this advice, the choice is obvious – we choose relationships, we choose love.

It’s a choice we can make everyday, through our actions that build warm relationships and nurture the well-being of the people we love.

Each time we do, we are taking the ladle and drinking from the stream of love at the Otowa Waterfall.


(Information about the Kiyomizu Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Otowa Waterfall, can be found here and here.)

(The TED Talk on the Harvard study on happiness can be found here.)

One Love


  1. Lovely selection of images. I read once that ‘success’ was a popular choice. It must be so hard not to try all three! Longevity in some ways may let you create the other two is my call. I think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can understand why “success” would be a popular choice. It’s really personal, and “longevity” (or a healthy long life) would just be as valid as the other two.
      Come to think of it, we want all three! (Maybe that’s why the monks in the temple make us choose only one so we can meditate on what’s important to us at the moment?)

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

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