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The Zen of Bamboo


At times, purchasing home décor items or even other household items such as rugs or utensils becomes so commonplace that it is done in a wasteful way without purpose. We buy vases and pillows will little thought of what it means because we simply want to fill space with things that are moderately pleasing.

Occasionally, a décor item steals our heart, but this only results in possessiveness that is equally wasted on an item that could be broken or damaged. The only way to truly appreciate the ownership of a decorative item is to appreciate it for what it is and its current presence, and bamboo is the perfect material to get into a zen-like state when it comes to décor.

A quote by Ping Fu is presented below, and it perfectly captures the way a bamboo item should be appreciated:

“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. . . . Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.”

Bamboo has an attitude, and putting it in the home is symbolic of peace, strength, and survival. It holds no grudges, and keeps growing even in harsh conditions. It cleans, and it adapts. Maybe you have picked a bamboo product because you simply liked it, and that is wonderful. However, when you look at the amazing characteristics behind bamboo, it becomes a remarkable material.

In Japanese culture, the essence of bamboo resonates with people, and there are many teachings that instruct people to “be like the bamboo.”

Japanese teachings tell stories of the bamboo that appears weak but is actually strong. It is wise because it is empty, referring to the tendency of humans to fill themselves with thoughts that clutter wisdom. Somehow, looking at a piece of bamboo regardless of how it has been made into other items is a reflection into how we should all strive to be.

It is not to say that this is not a fairly melodramatic view of the importance of bamboo, and many people shove off bamboo as just another trinket or marketing sales pitch meant to sway the uneducated buyers. However, shouldn’t all products be considered with as much thought as has been given to bamboo?

Bamboo is sustainable, it is cleaning, it is strong, and it is beautiful. That alone is enough to sell the least-educated buyer on the subject. However, incorporating symbolism and meaning into bamboo makes its existence worthwhile. It transcends itself above other materials and makes it enjoyable for whoever encounters it.

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