Community//

Embracing the Japanese Art of Wabi-Sabi in 2021

Loosely translated “wabi” means simplicity and “sabi” means the beauty of age or organic wear over time. According to author Leonard Karen of Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers: “Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
wabi-sabi

Loosely translated “wabi” means simplicity and “sabi” means the beauty of age or organic wear over time. According to author Leonard Karen of Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers: “Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental.”

In art and design, wabi sabi showcases the imperfect organic shapes, or could refer to the nice patina that forms over old, worn leather. The message, while left to individual interpretation, is rooted in the beauty of natural transitions.

Taking a wabi sabi approach to your life, can mean embracing the imperfect, the messy, the unpredictable. We embrace our journey, understanding that there may not be one fixed destination for our goals, rather a beautiful meandering journey.

The wabi-sabi letter was formed with the concept of embracing the transformative journey. There is beauty in the process. We practice mindfulness, while encouraging healthy choices through daily messages. We aim to increase our awareness of positive life choices, and root our decisions in the presence, rather than get caught up in auto-pilot. 

Often, health & wellness media focuses on the “best” diets or the top influencers with the greatest bodies. We want to focus on the realistic organic flow of our everyday lives. We are not all or nothing, we are not fixed identities, we are constantly evolving and striving for the more positive and peaceful aspects of every day living. We apply these approaches through mindfulness and intuition.

There is a gratefulness aspect rooted into wabi wabi philosophy as well. Acknowledging yourself and your journey is part of the process of transformation. The famous home organization expert, Marie Kondo, has a rule to verbally “thank” your old clothing and items before setting them aside.

The philosophy embraces the notion that we can change, while acknowledging and accepting the pieces of our lives and decisions that do not serve us. We are thanking our past experiences, and integrating them into our whole. We do not operate on shame, we celebrate our past as it has lead us to the current version of ourselves.

According to Now & Zen, there are seven aesthetic principals in achieving wabi sabi: 

Fukinsei: asymmetry, irregularity
Kanso: simplicity
Koko: basic, weathered
Shizen: without pretense, natural
Yugen: subtly profound grace, not obvious
Datsuzoku: unbounded by convention, free
Seijaku: tranquility

Consider how these principles interplay in your day-to-day living, and how you can embrace the freedom and peace that comes with the wabi-sabi nature of our lives, especially during times of increasing uncertainty and external pressure.

Follow the link here to subscribe to the daily wabi-sabi newsletter.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Wisdom//

    Wabi-Sabi: The Japanese Philosophy For a Perfectly Imperfect Life

    by Thomas Oppong
    Community//

    This Japanese Philosophy Helped Me Reboot My Life

    by Manvi Pant
    Wonder//

    WABI SABI: The Art of Embracing Imperfection

    by Laurie Burrows Grad

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.