This morning I listened to a wonderful guided meditation on my Calm app about the chips and cracks of our experience. Tamara Levitt ended the meditation with the words I've transcribed below. I couldn't help thinking about how this applies to supposedly "broken people" like the homeless in Salem.
Actually, as Levitt says, the Japanese art of Kintsugi shows that healing brokenness results in more beauty, not less. Human flaws produce a tapestry that can't be reproduced, being the product of our unique experience.
So rather than extolling those who seem to "have their act together," perhaps we should revere the broken, the cracked, the fallen, the bruised. And when we can, do our best to mend both ourselves and others without worrying if the repair job isn't perfect.
For beauty, in Kintsugi, lies in flaws, not perfection. Here's my transcript -- perhaps imperfect -- of what Tamara Levitt said today.
Today, I’d like to talk about the beauty in our flaws. When we experience something difficult, like heartbreak or a failed business endeavor, our reaction is often to see ourselves as cracked or flawed.
And we’re conditioned to think that when something is broken, it has less value. So our instinct is to ignore or cover up our hurt.
But what if we shifted our perception? What if we viewed our flaws with appreciation, even seeing them as beautiful?
There’s a wonderful Japanese art form where artists mend broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer. It’s called Kintsugi, which translates of golden joinery.
When a teacup breaks, or a vase cracks, Kintsugi embraces the brokenness. The pieces are meticulously mended back together, highlighting the cracks instead of hiding them.
Brilliant golden tendrils now hold the pottery together, resulting in a beautiful unique piece that can never be reproduced.
So rather than trying to erase the hurts of past relationships, or cover up mistakes in a past venture, why not approach our brokenness with a sense of reverence.
Mending pieces of ourselves with delicate filaments of gold. The next time you feel broken, remember the art of Kintsugi.
Hold your grief with tenderness, your mistakes with forgiveness, and your frustrations with patience,
Honor the scrapes and scruffs, the chips and cracks of your experience. As Leonard Cohen said, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
Absolutely love this post Brian. Moved me to tears, not sadness, just beautiful...
Posted by: Jen | October 05, 2017 at 09:00 PM
Yes ,me too I love this soo dearly..because of this truth..and ´wholeness..´
Posted by: s* | October 06, 2017 at 08:07 AM
Great post Brian,
It reminds me a quote "Never be ashamed of a scar, it simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you " . You cannot wipe out the pain , but you can put in tenderness , compassion , hope for yourself and others.
By embracing our brokenness we embrace genuine humility, patience and appreciation through our journey.
Posted by: Anita | October 06, 2017 at 05:49 PM
Brokenness also represents breaking the veil of nafs / mind / carnal desires / ego between Over-soul & Souls resulting in increased strength of Ruh which can overpower nafs.
" Those who are last will be first in the kingdom of heaven " means people who followed the path of asceticism by serving the Christ instead of their carnal desires will open the kingdom of heaven by numbing mind.
Jesus said, "Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion
becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still
will become human "
Here lion represents the Nafs/carnal desires , If any human being kills this lion of Nafs ,he will become immortal like heavenly father. If the Lion of Nafs overpowers human , that human being is foul because whatever he will utter will trap others in the realm of mind/matter. Lion still will become human means :That degraded Nafs which has become foul will become pure
by pains of transmigration & suffering.
Posted by: vinny | October 07, 2017 at 01:38 AM
Jesus said If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'
Jesus is indicating towards motion of the mind which manifests as: wakeful thoughts / sleep / dreams. This motion of mind cannot give the disciple eternal life because the wakeful mind dies during sleep. Rest means resting the ego / mind / thoughts / carnal desires so that Qualities of Ruh can manifest. Rest also indicates numbing the mind by strength of Ruh , when mind is numbed Ruh will manifest as Noor/divine light / Pure Consciousness which is deathless state.
Simple analogy : In agitated water [Mind] the reflection of Sun [God] cannot be seen , if that agitated water comes to rest , reflection of Sun can be clearly seen. It is easier said than done because mind is in motion for many lifetimes. Mind of both men / women are dwelling in the same carnal desires , to think that women are divine beings incapable of carnal fantasy is foolishness.
Posted by: vinny | October 08, 2017 at 02:52 AM
Thinking about how I enjoyed this post took to me looking into Zen and the Tao again. Hope you don't mind if I post a couple of quotes that also resonate with me. I think you Brian seem to be very zen and taoist in your understandings...
"Zen is full circle. We begin Zen seeking something that we feel is missing or lacking in our life. We move through various stages of development until once again we return home to where we started, having realised that there never was anything lacking. We were complete and whole from the beginning and only under the illusion that something was missing. Knowing this in an intellectual and conceptual way has nothing to do with truly realising it in a full bodily way and experiencing it directly."
"Unbeknownst to the student all kinds of projections, hopes, and expectations arise, particularly that the Master is somehow complete, perfect and whole in the relative rather than the absolute sense or realm. Disappointment and doubt eventually follow, which is both natural and essential. How can we ever accept our self as we are while hoping and expecting to become perfect as we are? To realise this is to realise that there is always one that is incomplete and imperfect along with the one that has never been anything less than perfect, compete and whole from the very beginning. This is called, “Selling water by the river.”
Posted by: Jen | October 08, 2017 at 03:39 PM
Sometimes....many times....there's a song and a performer that pierces the tragedy of existence, our core pain and grief, the beauty therein. Here is Diana Jones singing/playing "Cracked and Broken:: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6s3LHX25qc
Posted by: al | October 12, 2017 at 05:26 PM
The link/url to Diana did not work. Please try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6s3LHX25qc&list=RDj6s3LHX25qc
If this doesn't work please go to YouTube and search for Diana Jones, Cracked and Broken. Enjoy!
Posted by: al | October 12, 2017 at 05:36 PM
Well, let's be honest, I haven't been the greatest fan of Brian's Blog posts over the past few years.
But this was a beautiful post, brought a genuine touch of loveliness to my day.
Posted by: manjit | October 22, 2017 at 07:02 AM