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Wabi Sabi is a way of seeing the world that is at the heart
of Japanese culture. It finds beauty and harmony in what is
simple, imperfect, natural, modest, and mysterious.
– Mark Reibstein, Wabi Sabi

Petra, Jordan

To banish imperfection is to destroy expression,
to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.
– John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice


Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Tranquil simplicity, rustic elegance, imperfect beauty…
these are qualities that Wabi Sabi embraces.
Wabi Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life
– Diane Durston


Tibet, China

Wabi Sabi suggests that beauty is a dynamic event that occurs between you and
something else. Beauty can spontaneously occur at any moment given the
proper circumstances, context, or point of view. Beauty is thus an altered state of
consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace.
– Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Take something irregular, rough-hewn, off-kilter, incomplete…
and it’s all the more desirable for its flaws.
–  Oliver Burkeman

 Havana, Cuba


It is only with age that you acquire the gift to evaluate
decay, the epiphany of Wordsworth, the wisdom of Wabi Sabi:
nothing is perfect, nothing is complete, nothing lasts.
– Paul Theroux

Havana, Cuba

All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled
(who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fa
thers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him.
– Gerard Manley Hopkins
quoted in the Daily Good

Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Omo Valley, Ethiopia

The beauty of Wabi Sabi is rooted in modesty that is elegantly
perceived. The aesthetic pleasures of Wabi Sabi depend on attitude
and practice as much, or more, than on the materiality itself.
– Leonard Koren, op.cit.

Kathmandu, Nepal

The underlying principles of Wabi Sabi are diametrically opposed to
those of their Western counterparts, whose values are rooted in a world-
view that values permanence, grandeur, symmetry, and perfection.
– Andrew Juniper

Luang Prabang, Laos

Preah Khan, Angkor, Cambodia

For a lovely bowl
Let us arrange these flowers
For there is no rice
– Matsuo Bashō, Japanese Haiku

Karelia, Russia

If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead
branches, just like our bodies.What we learn is that beauty
and imperfection go together wonderfully.
– Matthew Fox

Havana, Cuba

Srinagar, Kashmir

Mingun Pagoda. Mandalay, Myanmar