Wabi Sabi, a great way of life
26th Jan 2023. 3 min read.
I bought this irregular piece of pottery at a local cafe shop displaying the artwork of young artists.
I wanted to support the local artists to encourage them for their effort and it is an extra source of income for hardworking people.
Pottery takes time to create ideas, weeks and months, even years to hone this craft, and patience to shape and bring it to its final glory.
What strikes me most about this piece is the irregularity and not the perfect and flawless symmetry that I used to look for in craftwork.
It reminds me of Wabi Sabi, the Japanese philosophy of imperfection, impermanence, and incompleteness and finding beauty in it.
Wabi Sabi is to embrace that life is a cycle of growth and decay and one must find wisdom moving through life.
Wabi Sabi as I see it.
Imperfections in Life
While living each day bring challenges, practicing Wabi Sabi helps me see that one should use kindness as much as possible.
The world can be a harsh place to live in as some humans have the propensity to judge, criticize and condemn. This can happen in any society even at home.
Practising Wabi Sabi means forgiving others who are finding their ways in life and have made mistakes.
It means forgiving yourself when you have erred and trying to rectify it.
It means being mindful that human beings are imperfect.
I have been discouraged by others when I was younger so I would prefer to encourage, enlighten and empower others with the knowledge that I have. If not, I could find someone who can.
I forgive those who are brash and cunning because the problems are with them.
This is a more compassionate and constructive way of living with others.
Impermanence in Life
Life goes in a flash. Practising Wabi Sabi makes me mindful of the fleeting nature and impermanence of life hence I would treasure time to improve myself in many aspects – communication, education, and the application of life principles that I believe in.
This I hope would impress my children and some to do the same.
I would treasure with my loved ones and good friends the happy and fruitful times we have together and seize every moment that is memorable. What’s left are indelible, inspiring memories.
Incompleteness in Life
Wabi Sabi is about the incompleteness of living.
Life is not completed in death. We return to nature from whence growth comes back to nurture us.
Work can never be completed even as a retiree as there is always stuff to attend to.
Aging is ongoing as we are works of nature.
Hence, practicing Wabi Sabi means that I must make time to appreciate the power and beauty of nature and slow down to inculcate a daily life balance. So that the true beauty of nature and the seasons do not just whisk past me.
The next time, you want to throw away something old, think Wabi Sabi. As it also discourages waste.
Is there any aesthetic in it?
Is there an important lesson behind it?
Is it still functional?
It may be flawed but since life is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, maybe it could become an inspirational object.