Wabi-Sabi Wisdom.

May 14, 2021

Wabi-Sabi Wisdom.

May 29, 2023

Recently, I posed the question about whether your truth might be embedded in another language. I’ve long been fascinated by the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, partly due to my love of their hot springs (onsen) culture. This led me to buying, renovating, and reopening the Kabuki Springs and Spa in San Francisco’s Japantown nearly two dozen years ago.

Wabi-Sabi has a lot to do with the kind of transience, simplicity, and appreciation for nature that many of us feel in the latter decades of our lives. Richard Powell describes wabi-sabi perfectly, “Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”

Thanks to Dr. Bill Futrell, our MEA Online alum and Wisdom Well reader, and a Pittsburgh-based “regenerative med-cell therapy” clinical surgeon-scientist, for his perspective:

My understanding is that Wabi-Sabi is a concept of regenerative life that derives from Zen Buddhism and in general means that imperfection and evidence of experience, e.g. the wisdom of aging, is not only acceptable but is respected and specifically appreciated and sought-after because of its evidence of wear and imperfections.

The theme fits nicely with your Modern Elder Academy concepts where Wisdom and Beauty both come through regeneration of the spirit and body (think of pluripotent stem cells, biologically present in all of us, and when concentrated and refined, can literally heal wounds and contribute to a ‘regenerated life’). Such a future can and will be without the need to be “perfect,” but with cell-therapy science, we can fix certain physical flaws and contribute to true well-being through sustaining “Wealth”, i.e. not just financial ‘wealth’ but optimal ‘health, wellness, and Wabi-Sabi living’ involving longevity without the need or goal of “perfection.”

Wow, I wish I had a family doctor with that perspective! Thanks, Dr. Bill.

Here’s to living your life with a certain rustic simplicity that harmonizes you with nature and human nature.

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