The spaces between… the lessons of ikebana

The simplicity of ikebana sogetsudc Many years ago I studied ikebana in Berkeley with Soho Sakai, a master teacher of the Sogetsu school. Ikebana has so much to teach besides aesthetics and how to work with plant materials. Life lessons.

I go in and out of living an ikebana life… one must be eternally vigilant against the creeping Cult of More. Ikebana is a great reminder.

It’s also a fantastic meditation practice – to go into the yard with your clippers and wait for a branch or flower to speak to you. To take the materials inside and examine them closely so you can properly share their message…

Here are some of the lessons of practicing ikebana:

1. In order to appreciate the materials they must have space around them. The space between allows the arrangement to breathe and be seen. You can appreciate the delicate pinkness, the perky stamens, the crinkly petals, the twisty twig in ways impossible if they were massed with many others.
Ditto your home. Think of the simplicity of an Amish home – one simple chair says so much.
Ditto your life. Feel the difference between the rush rush rush of a Monday, and the leisurely Sunday morning cup of coffee in bed.
How can you create more S P A C E ??

2. It’s less costly to have little. A few well-chosen flowers (or knick-knacks or sweaters or friends) cost less and please more.

3. Life is ephemeral. Carpe diem. The flower will wilt. Change happens. Let it go and create something new in the space.

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