Wabi Sabi - a Japanese philosophy of life


Wabi Sabi is a concept derived from Buddhism, and is the combination of two separate yet related concepts. Wabi aims to find joy in simple and small things while Sabi is about appreciating the beauty of things as they change over time. The two spirits combined to create a philosophy of appreciating everything as it is, instead of constantly demanding greater and more beautiful things. It is actually very difficult to define Wabi Sabi precisely. Yet, Leonard Koren, the author of “Wabi Sabi” said that this philosophy of life is the combination of the three “im-”: imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Nothing is 100% complete, nothing is permanent and most importantly, nothing is perfect nor absolute. Wabi Sabi embraces the imperfect "cracks" on the outside because it ultimately values the inner spirit.


Nothing is perfect, so stop searching for it


From a certain perspective, perfection doesn't exist in this world. Life is busy and you constantly chase after things that make you satisfied and proud whenever you think of them. If you assume that becoming a famous figure loved by the whole world is a perfect beauty, Wabi Sabi considers it not “perfect” as you think. To become a well-known person, you have to devote your time and efforts. You become a public figure and have no time left for your family and loved ones. Behind the glamorous fame are still the "cracks" that only you can see. Wabi Sabi teaches us to embrace the truth that nothing lasts forever, and to find beauty and joy in the process of change. If you can embrace the truth, the imperfections can be unexpectedly beautiful. Conversely, if you don't accept the truth and keep chasing after distant things, eventually, when you feel exhausted, there won't be any perfect beauty like you once dreamed of.


Lessons from Wabi Sabi lifestyle


Wabi Sabi teaches us to embrace the truth and appreciate the small, hidden beauties within. Everything is not perfect so you should force yourself to become a perfect version. Wabi Sabi encourages you to be yourself, love your flaws, and cultivate small daily joys. This philosophy also helps you simplify your life and minimize everyday stress. Is today a bad day for you? Do you feel tired and dislike surrounding things? Wabi Sabi will help you find small joy, reminding you that nothing happens by chance. Everything that happens has its own purpose, and behind every "crack" lies a unique kind of happiness. Besides, Wabi Sabi helps you respect yourself more. You have wrinkles, scars, flat nose, wavy hair, you find thousands of imperfections in your body but why don't you try to look at yourself in a different light? You are still you. Despite the imperfections, it's the same body that brought your parents so much joy when you were born. Therefore, it is a beauty of happiness, not a physical flaw.


Each of us deserves to have a happy life. This life is extremely busy, we are all working hard on our own journey to find our own beauty. However, remember one thing that Wabi Sabi teaches us: "nothing is perfect". On this journey, always cherish and love the "flaws" of yourself.

                                Larissa | Johanna Pham