Wabi Sabi the abode of emptiness

Wabi Sabi the abode of emptiness
Wabi Sabi the abode of emptiness ph credits Stefania Giorgi

Wabi Sabi the abode of emptiness.

Wabi Sabi as a lifestyle choice means giving value to concepts such as: Time, Emptiness, Contemplation; Wabi Sabi could be defined as a living meditation, which crosses the moments of the day with a listening attitude and an aesthetic sensitivity that is able to read the beauty that is hidden in the folds of everyday life. A beauty that is difficult to trace and recognize.

Wabi Sabi is a style, but it is also a philosophy, there are no limits that separate the physical plane from the plane of thought, nor of action or meditation. Things flow naturally, from one floor to another. In this elusive lifestyle, there is time and the possibility to be more than one thing at the same time.

Wabi Sabi is a Japanese word, etymologically composed of the terms wabi poverty, simplicity and sabi , which indicates the beauty that arises from the passage of time. In kanji it is written 侘寂 and it is a difficult concept to translate into Italian and impossible to grasp literally.

It represents the possibility of being, it’s our nature. In the tea ceremony room, “the abode of emptiness” all men are equal, the noise of thoughts is left out and the no-mind, the mu-shin (無心, no-mind) is experienced.

The concept of Wabi Sabi was historically born as a reaction to a rich and ephemeral lifestyle, in which even the aesthetics of the objects associated with the tea ceremony were redundant and excessively sumptuous. We are around 1500 when the master Sen no Rikyū (1522-1591) reforms the tea ceremony, which is called cha no yu (which means “hot water for tea”) – in Japanese 茶の湯  or also 茶道 (sadō) – so as we know it today, introducing the concept of Wabi Sabi to create an environment more suited to meditation, marked by sobriety. The ceramics change in favor of elegant but essential shapes, the material is left to have its own space with which to resonate, the cup is a meditation in itself.

So Wabi Sabi is closely related to tea ceremony pottery, which forms one of the spiritual paths of Zen Buddhism.

So on the one hand we have an aesthetic whose codes are asymmetry, materiality, the vital element, dusty colours, which on the other corresponds to a philosophy which is a lifestyle, centered on the ability to see beauty in imperfect and incomplete, as it is, in the passage of time, in impermanence. The Master ceramist’s creation embodies these values, which are part of a wider vision. Zen thus has the ability to unite the different levels of existence, and to bring beauty, meditation, the spiritual, right into the daily gesture which becomes sacred precisely because of the ability to see its value, for the ability to bring meditation of not mind even in the cup of tea. In the West, Wabi Sabi has a more psychological connotation, sometimes purely aesthetic, sometimes philosophical, but it was originally born as a whole, and its strength dwells precisely in its integral and living vision. Emptiness is the foundation, what allows for contemplation, inspiration, meditation, inaction and mindlessness, but it also allows for action, whatever comes next.

The living is in itself asymmetrical and perfectly imperfect. An elegant beauty, free in gesture, brings peace to those who observe it, giving comfort to the soul. In the Zen void, Being and Meaning are experienced. You don’t need to do anything, you don’t observe the thoughts, it’s the point of arrival, like flying above the clouds. Wabi Sabi is all of these things together.
The love of freedom lives in asymmetry.







I am an Artist, located in Italy, the country of Art and Dolce Vita, in love with wabi sabi ceramics. I am specialized in art laboratories, helping people to meet the creative side of life, and helping creative entrepreneurs and companies with branding through my artworks with a dash of clean style to capture the harmony of life. I also work in Hospitals with clay therapy laboratory for children. This blog is my Artistic Salad, filled with creativity, beauty, joie de vivre, passion and tools for creative minds.

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