Saturday, April 9, 2011

Simple Living and Inner Abundance

Hello my lovely mori girls!

Today I come to you with a book that I am reading right now.
It is called "A Different Kind of Luxury – Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance" written by Andy Couturier and I think that it is a must-read to every mori girl. The author traveled through Japan for many years, visiting men and women with a very different lifestyle and perspective on how to live a sustainable and fulfilled life.

Couturier leads us into the houses of 11 different men and women who have withdrawn themselves from the conventional lifestyle (and we all know how difficult that is in Japan, where your company is such a large part of everything. It provides your apartment, insurances and social status). Their lives are simple, yet they are surrounded by the luxuries of nature, art, contemplation, delicious food and an abundance of time.

"If you have time, a lot of things are enjoyable. Making this kind of woodblock, or collecting the wood for the fire, or even cleaning things–it´s all enjoyable and satisfying if you give yourself time." (Osamu Nakamura) 

This is so very true. How often do we think that keeping a household is so tedious. I especially experience that with cleaning up. I often think that it is a nonproductive work, meaning that I am not developing any skills by washing the dishes.
By thinking this way I can hardly wait until I get finished and move on to the "real stuff". But what if I actually get to enjoy it? What if washing the dishes becomes my new time for meditation? The need for rushing would simply cease to exist. This is how everyone can create harmony. It is that simple.

"One of the books Nakamura has bound comprises a few photocopied pages on how to weave sandals from rice straw. Paging through it, I see how much my way of thinking about "craft" has changed over the period I have known him. Instead of craft being a "nice" pursuit with which to fill some unoccupied hours around the house, I have come to understand it as one of the most fundamental and ancient ways that humans have to meet their needs. (…) Craft is something that every person needed before machines made everything we use. "

Nakamura also talks about the "Beauty of the Usefulness". I had goosebumps when I read that. This is where arts and crafts come together, this is why I like Art Noveau so much: bringing beauty into our daily lives. What use does beauty have if I am not confronted by it every day? What joy I receive from a piece of pottery that I have made and decorated myself?

This is what I feel is so necessary in my life: creating things with my own to hands. It gives me the most satisfaction imaginable. Learning and teaching, both things are so close connected to each other. I wish for a little house somewhere in midst of nature, growing my own food, making tea on a stove heated with firewood (can you hear the sound of the boiling water already?) and literally being down to earth.

I guess in the future those who know to be self-sufficient and live sustainable on as many levels as possible will be the true kings and queens of this planet. I want to teach as much about that as my time here allows.

And I would love to have this ring by InMostLight.

Many hugs to you,
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