Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Dharma


I realize how weird this post will sound even before I start typing. After our hike yesterday, Sonia and I stopped at a cemetery that has been on my list of places to see. Yes, a Japanese cemetery and not just any Japanese cemetary – this specific cemetery. My research told me the cemetery offered great views of the area, a pagoda, and a large Buddha. Plus, many additional statues and a picnic area. 

After our hike, we took the train up one stop to the Keikyu-Nagasawa station. We then walked to the yellow star. It was about a 10-12 minute walk. 

The cemetery didn’t disappoint. There were a lot of unique and interesting statues. 

And lots of stairs to reach the Buddha and pagoda at the top of the hill. 

The views were amazing. 

All of the gravestones are part of this cemetery! 

The Buddha was pretty cool. Especially, with the Sakura blooms and the birds perched on him. 

Also with the pagoda. 

Around the pagoda were several other cool statues. Like meditation hands. 

Buddhas and Gods. 

Even a Dharma Doll! 

We couldn’t resist a picture with the hands. 

The pagoda itself was pretty cool. The trees around it are Sakura trees. I look forward to returning when they are in bloom. 

This adventure was a lesson in finding beauty in unexpected places. Ahhh… so, wabi-sabi! 

Happy New Year! 

Dave and I had a wonderful time in Phuket, Thailand. I will share more details of our adventures over the next couple of days. First, I thought it important to share happy new year wishes and another Japanese new year tradition. 

These funny looking men are called Dharma dolls. They are a hollow, papier-mâché doll depicting a bearded man and modeled after Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma lived during the 5th/6th century and was the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. They can be purchased at Zen Buddhist Temples. 

The Dharma doll is rich in symbolism and has become a talisman of good luck in the Japanese culture. The phrase “Nanakorobi Yaoki” often accompanies the doll. It translates to mean “seven times down, eight times up”. The bottom of the doll is weighted ensuring the doll will always sit up, symbolizing relentlessly pursuing your wish. Most significantly, the Dharma doll is sold with one eye colored in and one eye blank. The new owner of the doll makes a wish. Once the wish is fullfilled, the second eye is filled in and the wish can be shared and celebrated. The symbolism here is the missing eye helps the owner keep sight of their wish and when their wish is fullfilled, they return sight to the Dharma reaching closer to enlightenment. 

The object on the left of the Dharma dolls is a 2017 year of the rooster Sake barrel. 

On New Years Eve, Dave and I made our wish for 2017 on our respective Dharma dolls. Stay tuned over the next 365 days as we patiently wait for our wishes to be granted. In the meantime, we have Sake to enjoy! Kanpie! 

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