Updated 23 January 2018
From 2015 to the end of 2018 this website focused on how sabi and a variety of other perspectives and practices can enhance your ability to overcome anxiety and suffering. By increasing sensitivity to sabi an important shift in awareness is possible that can ultimately strengthen resiliency and character. Sabi is not the only element needed, but it seems to link many important ones. This topic will continue to be discussed as I gain more insight.
Beginning in January of 2019 I devoted more time to a deeper exploration of beauty and it’s relation to truth and meaning, especially as related to photography and nature.
In 2020 I will continue with more photography related posts. There are many analogues to life from photography, not least of which is focus and blur. But perhaps the most salient is the shift to automated and simulated images. The latest versions of personal device firmware are putting techniques previously only available to trained professional photographers, in the hands of those wealthy enough to own these devices. Not as sophisticated or aesthetically compelling, the results are often good enough for Instagram and similar platforms.
Other topics I’m interested in and actively exploring include letting go (Welcoming Prayer), surrender (Michael Singer), high sensitivity, forest bathing (Nature Therapy), wisdom traditions, mindbody work, schema therapy, attachment styles, narrative and story, dialectic therapy, meditation, photography, poetry, internal family systems theory, memesis, and the scientific exploration of unorthodox views of reality.
For 7 years, from 2007 to 2014, I paddled 100 lakes on Vancouver Island seeking sabi in the ancient tradition of kanjaku.
Kanjaku is a Japanese word that joins leisure or idleness (kan) with loneliness or stillness (jaku). Lonely idling, or leisurely stillness. This was the term that the renowned Japanese poet Basho declared should be the state in which “one’s mind should stay.”
Peipei Qiu writes in Basho and the Dao:
“Sabishisa in Basho’s poems is often not a landscape infused with the sentiment of loneliness but the fundamental tranquility found in the harmonious fusion of the external world and the poetic mind.”
Not merely loneliness, sabi is a mood experienced in solitude, that fosters a clear awareness. In this state nature is accurately perceived through the serenity of poetic vision and a type of Kenshō is possible.
My exploration of sabi increased this kind of vision and started my journey out of clinical anxiety towards freedom. In the process of writing two books on Wabi Sabi, and then practicing Kanjaku, I gained a series of insights and practices that have produced healing. I plan to unpack them here so that others who are suffering might find some options for their own recovery.
I hope you find a welcomed difference here. Please feel free to comment and engage me in discussion. I’m interested in hearing from others who are working with these same or similar insights and experiences in the stream of existence.
Richard R. Powell