Yesterday was my mother-in-law’s birthday party, and as a surprise for her guests we were all invited to make a Ikebana flower arrangement. I knew very little about Ikebana before I started, but I enjoyed the free environment set up by the party to dive in for the first time. Here is what I ended up with.
Having played around a little with the form I wanted to know more about it. The only info we got from the florist, the same one who did the flowers for my wedding, was to work in thirds, that the form is normally done in silence, and that movement and form are key. My friend at the party, who had been a practicing buddhist for many years, said that the flowers should capture the idea of “as above; so below” or something along those lines. She also said that Ikebana always incorporates something that is about to die to signify the cyclical nature of the world.
With this little start in mind I did a little more digging. Classical Ikebana was established in Japan by the middle of the 15th century. There are a number of different schools of thought surrounding the art form. “Ikebana translates as ‘living flowers’, meaning to appreciate the life that is, was, or will be in any plant, or part of a plant, from a seed to a whole tree. Another name for this practice is kado, ‘the way of flowers’.” – Osho Leela Meditation Center, Boulder
I would like to try this form again now that I know more. I would like to also try the form in silence, in hopes of falling more into the meditation and appreciation of nature. I think a lot about play, space, transience, depth, and color could be learned from the excercise. Thankfully my mother-in-law has lots of flowers left over from the event.
To learn a lot more Check Out Ikebana International
For lots more picture: http://www.flickr.com/groups/ikebana/