‘The Wabi-Sabi Way’

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22nd July, 2022

“Wabi-sabi” is a Japanese term that essentially means finding beauty in imperfection. 

‘Wabi’ refers to living with humility and simplicity while being at one with nature, 

while ‘Sabi’ is defined as the ability to accept the lifecycle of anything as it is—flaws and all.

The Japanese, for instance, often use the term to describe fading autumn leaves – changing over time, imperfect, yet beautiful.

In a world that is riddled with high-stress levels, fast-paced living, unrealistic pursuits of perfection, and a damaging affliction with materialistic wealth, ‘Wabi Sabi’ is an ancient Japanese way of life that can be just what we need right now, to save us from our total degeneration.

Wabi-sabi is an elegant philosophy that denotes a more connected way of living—a lifestyle, where we are deeply connected to nature, and thus, better connected to our truest inner-selves. 

Wabi-sabi is a concept that motions us to constantly search for the beauty in imperfection and accept the more natural cycle of life. It reminds us that all things including us and life itself, are impermanent, incomplete, and imperfect. Perfection, then, is impossible and impermanence is the only way.

Taken individually, wabi and sabi are two separate concepts: 

Wabi is about recognizing beauty in humble simplicity. It invites us to open our heart and detach from the vanity of materialism so we can experience spiritual richness instead. 

Sabi is concerned with the passage of time, the way all things grow, age, and decay, and how it manifests itself beautifully in objects. It suggests that beauty is hidden beneath the surface of what we actually see, even in what we initially perceive as broken. 

Together, these two concepts create an overarching philosophy for approaching life: Accept what is, stay in the present moment, and appreciate the simple, transient stages of life.

Stoics have a term called ‘Amor Fati – a love of fate’ and Wabi-sabi preaches the same: You will find peace and freedom, and you will step onto the path of growth, once you begin yielding and surrendering to the imperfect flow of life.

Another quote from the wabi – sabi philosophy that I resonate with is, ‘There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.’

Adopt the ‘Wabi-Sabi’ way and stay blessed forever.