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Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy: how to be happy without trying at all?

Date: April 14, 2024 Time: 19:18:51

When it comes to finding peace of mind, there is no equal to the Eastern philosophers and sages. Great minds, having comprehended the subtle meanings of being, left many works and teachings in which they tried to answer the people’s question: “Where to find true happiness?”

First of all, they offered to turn to themselves, and then to the surrounding reality. For Japanese philosophers, the main postulate of life has become the rule to perceive reality as it is, without trying to remake it for themselves. And firmness and humility were the main virtues of man. Similar principles are incorporated into wabi sabi philosophy. Let’s see what the term means and how the Japanese lifestyle is reflected in psychology and design.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

What is wabi-sabi?

From Japanese, the concept can be translated as “modest simplicity in solitude.” For an accurate understanding of the meaning, it is worth dividing the term into two components: wabi will mean modesty, dullness and pomposity, sabi – archaic, authentic, natural. That is, Japanese philosophy teaches to appreciate beauty in imperfection, in simplicity.

The mood and atmosphere of wabi-sabi are accurately conveyed through natural phenomena and landscapes. For example, a spring garden, a night starry sky, moonlight. It is the surrounding space with its transience for the Japanese the source of perfection and truth.

The philosophy of wabi-sabi is based on Zen Buddhism and Taoism, which emphasize the importance of being in the present moment, detachment from desires and attachments, and harmony with the outside world. For the Japanese, this worldview is the basis of beauty, the aesthetics of the world. The observed object must evoke emotions, feelings of melancholy and nostalgia.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

The central theme of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi is meditation, which characterizes balance, concentration and self-control. In the process of spiritual search, the goal of which is to comprehend the truth and spiritual enlightenment, a person finds himself in a position where the level of consciousness increases.

Wabi-sabi also offers mental practice with careful observation and understanding of everyday life. It is important to clearly notice thoughts, emotions, body and spirit. A person should treat himself and others with care, mercy and awareness of his feelings.

Achieving a true understanding of the meaning of wabi-sabi, as the Japanese themselves say, is only possible through non-verbal communication, without words, only by contemplating the environment. That is why the principles of this philosophy have found a massive reflection in art, architecture and design.

Learn to perform asanas and meditations correctly:

Hatha yoga: from history to practice. Great guide to one of the most popular destinations.

Wabi-sabi style features in the interior.

Philosophers from the country of the rising sun call to see beauty in simple things. The structure of the house and the choice of clothing are built on this concept. The interiors are dominated by calm natural tones and the items for the home are made without unnecessary pretensions or displays of luxury. Let’s highlight a few more principles of the wabi-sabi style in design.

incompleteness

The philosophy of “solitary simplicity” implies the awareness of the incompleteness, variability and imperfection of the world. The wabi-sabi style makes it possible to constantly update the interior and accept the imperfections of the repairs made. The space should not be filled even with geometric objects. By contrast, in creating a place to live, the wabi-sabi worldview allows for asymmetry and inequality. You can always make changes at any time, for example, repaint the walls or update the textiles in the rooms.

minimalism

At the same time, the wabi-sabi style does not allow lawlessness and negligence. Despite the adoption of imperfect forms, the space must remain clean and minimalist. Philosophy offers to feel the delicate balance between the pleasure of owning things and the joy of the freedom of getting rid of the unnecessary and non-functional.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

Attention to details

Each interior item, according to the principles of wabi-sabi, should have meaning and evoke pleasant feelings of nostalgia. Thus, the space can be filled with authentic and inexpensive souvenirs.

The interior may contain old tablecloths inherited from grandmother, children’s drawings on the walls, clay cups made by hand, from which it is pleasant to drink tea. Details should fill the space with meaning and be in keeping with the owner’s core values.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

love for antiquity

In the wabi-sabi philosophy, special importance is attached to the attachment to historical memories. Inside, old and worn things that have a touch of time are valued. It is in them that the true beauty for the Japanese is hidden. The wabi-sabi style involves the preservation and restoration of household items.

In Japanese culture, there is even a separate art of restoring damaged objects – kintsugi. It is a way of preserving broken objects, usually ceramic, which consists of uniting fragments into a whole using varnish mixed with gold, silver or platinum dust. The Japanese believe that this technique makes something unique and personifies the strength of a person who does not give up under the yoke of time.

About the Chinese harmony methods:

What is the Tao: 7 laws whose observance makes a person truly happy

Environmentally friendly

Simplicity and aesthetics in the wabi-sabi style imply the rejection of everything unnatural and plastic. For this reason, in the interior, natural and organic materials are valued, which provide pleasant tactile sensations. It can be bamboo linen curtains on the windows, wooden or wicker furniture, cotton bedding.

Imitation of wood and stone is unacceptable in such interiors. Only natural ingredients should be used in the design. The wabi-sabi style involves replacing expensive breeds or materials with affordable ones. It is proposed to maintain naturalness in the chromatic combinations of the space. In the interior of the wabi-sabi, mainly calm shades of white, light pink, beige, green and blue prevail.

Comfort

The main task of the wabi-sabi style is to create a comfortable zone where a person can relax and rest as much as possible. A carelessly made bed, scattered pillows and a blanket on the sofa are a natural image of the interior of this philosophy.

The imperfectly arranged objects seem to hint that, being in this space, one can be real, sincere and still be oneself. Here, in such a room, you will be welcomed and supported in any mood. But the ideal order and crystalline purity, the tendency to perfectionism will be somewhat artificial and will repel sincerity.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

Wabi-sabi principles in psychology.

I agree that such attitudes from this Eastern philosophy resonate strongly with psychotherapy practices. By equipping your space in accordance with the principles of wabi-sabi, you can change your views on your life and worldview.

clinical and business psychologist

“Wabi-sabi is not just a philosophy, but also a psychotherapy that can help you become happier, healthier, and wiser. His postulates are similar to those used in psychology, since they help the person to face crises, stress, depression and other problems.

The acceptance of reality as it is, without constant resistance, denial or victimization of circumstances, makes it possible to see new perspectives and solutions. Happiness in simplicity means for a person on a global level the rejection of excesses, materialism and traumatic comparison of oneself with others.

This contributes to the development of the ability to appreciate what you have and what you have achieved thanks to your effort. The level of satisfaction with life increases. Appealing to the ideas of the inevitability of aging and the variability of life, characteristic of the wabi-sabi philosophy, reminds a person of the value of each moment, motivates him to be creative and creative.

Reaching a state of acceptance of reality is not always easy, sometimes it takes decades. But there are various techniques that can help in this process.

Meditation

It is the practice of focusing on your breath, body, thoughts, and feelings without evaluation or judgment. Meditation helps to calm the mind, relax the body, and realize oneness with nature.

Adoption

The ability comes from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which consists of fully accepting reality as it is, without trying to change or avoid it. Radical acceptance requires three steps: accepting the fact that it has happened; accept that the event has a cause; accept that life is possible even with painful events.

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mind twist

This is another behavior therapy skill. Helps divert attention from denial to acceptance. Every time we notice that we don’t agree with something that bothers or upsets us, we can change our mind. Guide them towards acceptance.

preparation

It is the ability to be open to life and to participate actively and flexibly in it. We are not afraid of anything new, we are ready to apply and activate all available opportunities in the face of previously unknown challenges. Being prepared also means recognizing your needs, emotions, and values.

It is also possible to see beauty in little things, in your age and in the conditions in which a person is now. For this, it is necessary to develop mindfulness, sensitivity and imagination.

They will help you to notice the details that are sources of beauty and joy, to feel a connection with nature, with yourself and with other people. And imagination helps to create your own style, express your individuality and find deep meaning in life.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

However, we must admit that wabi-sabi is not suitable for everyone, this is not a universal solution. Some people may have a hard time accepting their flaws, failures, and aging. There is dependence on the desire to achieve perfection, to achieve great success or eternal youth. These people run the risk of becoming victims of their illusions, complexes and addictions, losing contact with reality, with themselves and with others.

Thus, wabi-sabi is not only a philosophy of life, but also an effective way to save yourself from modern disasters caused by the constant comparison of your achievements, your figure, your life with an endless stream of information and photos on social networks. .

Everyone should try wabi sabi and start accepting himself with his nice flaws and nice achievements in order to live with pleasure. Philosophy can lead to radical changes in human behaviour, thinking and values.

A tool that will help you regain balance in life:

Balance wheel: how to understand what you lack for happiness and finally find harmony?

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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