• Wabi-Sabi

  • A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Learn the Realms of Wabi-Sabi from A-Z
  • By: Robert Miller
  • Narrated by: William Bahl
  • Length: 3 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $14.95

Buy for $14.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

This book offers a comprehensive look at the Japanese world view known as "wabi-sabi" and how it can be used to change one's perception of life and find happiness in an imperfect life.

There's no denying that modern living has afforded us lots of good things with all manner of convenience. Today, we can stay cool, no matter how hot it gets outside, thanks to our air-conditioned rooms. In seconds, we can talk face-to-face with someone halfway across the world, thanks to the internet. So, why are there so many of us who feel disconnected and unhappy?

If you've grown tired of keeping up with the mental and emotional demands of modern living, then, perhaps, it's time to turn to age-old pearls of wisdom for advice and gain a new perspective about life. This book is your portal to one such wisdom, as the author invites you to look beyond the cultural tradition and Japanese aesthetics of wabi-sabi and unlock a new dimension for perceiving the world and seeking one's place in it. 

Travel back in time and explore the Zen roots of wabi-sabi and how it has taught generations of people to find beauty amidst the many imperfections of life. You will learn that wabi-sabi isn't so much about Japanese culture, but life in general. It teaches people to simplify things and recognize what is truly important to them.

Defined as the sum of all wisdom gained by generations of Japanese artisans, poets, and philosophers, wabi-sabi calls on you to step on the brakes of your fast-paced lifestyle, smell the flowers, and recognize that you may have been too hard on yourself.

While it's easy to dismiss wabi-sabi as a Japanese preference for aesthetics, you will learn that it has so much more to offer. In truth, it's a world view that can be applied to just about every facet of life, from living with nature, to building a family, to accepting failures and dying with dignity. Wabi-Sabi preaches the truth that many people refuse to acknowledge - that our lives don't have to be perfect to be happy.

If you’re looking for a life-changing experience, then click the "buy now" button today.

©2020 Robert Miller (P)2020 Robert Miller

What listeners say about Wabi-Sabi

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    47
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Lessons to Be Experienced..

Wabi is derived from the Japanese word "wabishisa," which means lonely or desolate. It refers to a choice or discipline geared towards actively finding beauty in simple and imperfect things. This, in turn, breeds contentment for what is an otherwise ordinary and quiet life.

Sabi, on the other hand, is taken from the Japanese word "Sabishisa," which means sadness. This word is an ode to the melancholy felt by people as they're subjected to the passage of time. It recognizes that everything in life will inevitably rot, fade, or wither.

The philosophy is similar to the Chinese cultural concept of Yin and Yang, where two sides (light and dark; good and evil) are constantly at odds with one another. If taken together, the two sides make up equal parts of a whole, which symbolizes balance — a quality that is universally beneficial to every facet of life.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

East meets West

To truly understand the origin of Wabi-Sabi, we must tackle the origin of the ceremony of tea as the two are deeply intertwined. It was the year 1191 when the green tea finally reached the shores of Japan and became an integral part of the ceremony of tea. The person responsible for bringing green tea into Japan all the way from China was Myoan Eisai — a monk of the Song Dynasty. More importantly, he founded the first Rinzai school in Japan (one of the three sects of Japanese Buddhism). His greatest contribution to the ceremony of tea was the cultivation of tea seeds all over the country. One, in particular, is the city of Uji, which to this day, maintains a reputation for producing some of the best matcha green tea powder in the world. By the start of the 12th century, Zen Buddhism and tea cultivation were at its peak. However, the ceremony of tea wasn't practiced until the 15th century. It was then that a monk and tea master named Murata Shuko formally linked the preparation and consumption of green tea as a manifestation of the guiding principles of Zen Buddhism. As such, he is widely recognized as the father of the ceremony of tea. He left a lasting influence on the Japanese culture, which persists even to the modern-day.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Drink It In!

Without this book, you might already be manifesting WabiSabi in many areas of your life. Perhaps you've always held a preference for antique goods and subtle textures. Wabi-Sabi is the reason why people continue to preserve the works of art of longdeceased masters. The mere fact that these items have endured over the centuries is what makes them valuable in the present, and that value only increases in the years to come. What are the things in your life which compels you to say the same? The truth is that there's no right or wrong way to practice WabiSabi. The interpretation is always deeply personal and can be as simple as gluing together a broken vase, which you accidentally knocked over instead of buying a new one. You can also call yourself Wabi-Sabi by not fretting over the chips in your car's paint as it fades over the years. Whatever it is, Wabi-Sabi's personal meaning cannot be bought nor taken away. It is a quality of mind, and being that is yours alone. I urge you to read on and find your own personal meaning, find the peace that continues to elude so many amidst the trivialities of modern society.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Take Your Time With This One.

People who find themselves in a position of great power are almost always drawn to lavish spending. Despite the fact that most of the ordinary folk still lay in poverty, the ruling class of civil war, Japan was no exemption.

The ceremony of tea became an occasion where the rich and the powerful found an excuse to display their wealth. As a result, the ceremony originally meant to celebrate simplicity, and deep contemplation was progressively stripped of meaning and became nothing more than a lavish social engagement for the rich and powerful. In its place came status symbols like Chinese teacups, gold silk, luxurious paraphernalia, and ivory utensils.

At that point, even the common folk can sense the conflict between those who hold the ceremony of tea as a deeply spiritual experience and those who sought to use it to demonstrate their power and wealth.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wabi-Sabi

As you may have noticed, the two words that make up Wabi-Sabi are somewhat contradictory, but if taken together, it takes on a positive meaning. It is safe to say then, that Wabi-Sabi is the wisdom to accept and find beauty in the impermanence and imperfections of life. It teaches us to pause and appreciate the beauty of everything that we deem as imperfect in our lives. In this way, people can easily make do with less and lead a genuine and fulfilled life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awakening to Life.

If you were to ask a Japanese person, "what is Wabi-Sabi?", their reaction is bound to be the same. He or she may repeat your question, followed by a long pause. That is because even among Japanese people, Wabi-Sabi rarely crops up in polite conversations. They don't see the need to talk about it, so translating what they know about the discipline into words can be extremely difficult. When you finally do get an answer, you will find that the answers are almost always different. Most of them might refer to the same roots as Zen and the ceremony of the tea, but their personal experience of it is almost always different. You can ask 100 different people the same question, and you're bound to end up with 100 different answers based on their own unique perspective. Yet similar to love, there's no doubt in your mind that all the answers are correct and that they're all pertaining to the same thing. This is what makes Wabi-Sabi such a fascinating subject — one that is impossible to define using concrete words, yet universally applicable to the human experience, not only among the Japanese but humanity as a whole.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wabi-Sabi My LIFESAVER!

The word Sabi has a rich history that extends far beyond the definition laid out in the previous chapter. Again, the word was originally meant to describe something that is old, decrepit, or withered.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Art of Loving.

The Japanese will forever remember Rikyu as the father of the Japanese ceremony of tea (Way of Tea). His style of tea ultimately came to be known as "Wabi-cha." So powerful was his influence that his philosophy towards simplicity and natural beauty became nearly universal to every facet of Japanese culture.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The TruTh!

This distinctive worldview emerged in an era of peace. A concept that was borne out of a universal desire to live quiet and peaceful lives. Alas, nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is that Wabi-Sabi is the culmination of an idea borne from the brutal reality of 12th century Japan. It was a time ruled by violence and a culture of excess. While the rest of the world was concerned with establishing shipping trade routes and economic policies for amassing wealth, Japan was left muddling in strife brought about by centuries of civil war. Violence and famine plagued the land. Taxes were so high that the majority of the people lay stricken by disease and poverty.

To say that life was hard for ordinary folk is an understatement. As a result, people clung to whatever comfort they can find. Chief among such comforts was the belief in Zen Buddhism, which, even today, left a lasting influence on the Japanese way of life.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Real-world wisdom.

This is the perfect introductory book to the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi. Chapters contain background information on how the idea applies to different areas of your life and is followed up with practical mental and physical exercises to drive home the concept.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Roger
  • Roger
  • 05-22-21

Back to basics

The Japanese hold Rikyu in high regard as one who has obtained a deeply profound understanding of Wabi-Sabi. He recognized that there is no such thing as a perfect garden, but that doesn't mean his master's garden can't be beautiful. In the same way, Wabi-Sabi teaches us that life cannot be perfect. No matter how hard we toil and rake the ground, leaves will fall on our respective gardens. Things don't always go our way, but that doesn't make our days any less meaningful and only serves to enrich our lives. If we're given only a few words to sum up what Wabi-Sabi is all about, it's "finding perfection in an imperfect life." Simplicity and authenticity are recognized to hold lasting value over lavishness and ornamental embellishments. During the 15th century, it emerged as the Japanese layman's answer to the follies of the rich and influential people of that time. So powerful was this philosophy that even today, you'll find evidence of its influence in nearly every facet of Japanese culture — tea ceremonies, sushi, flower arrangements, martial arts, traditional architecture, and more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for  Anderson
  • Anderson
  • 05-21-21

Relationship/life changing book

This book is a fabulous and thought-provoking read discussing the Japanese philosophy of "Wabi-Sabi" - the art of the old/cherished/well made but yet imperfect object.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Russell
  • Russell
  • 05-15-21

Charming explanation of Wabi Sabi.

Wabi-Sabi is a way of life that appreciates and accepts complexity while at the same time values simplicity.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for  Daniel
  • Daniel
  • 05-04-21

To read and contemplate.

I liked how easy this book was to read and understand. It gives a great intro on wabi sabi way of thinking with actionable practices to incorporate into your life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amy Bryner
  • Amy Bryner
  • 04-30-21

Great Little Book of Advice!

This is a wonderful little book of "Advice". I am giving it to friends as gifts and they are equally pleased with it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nicholas Tuff
  • Nicholas Tuff
  • 12-24-20

Beautiful and thoughtful

This is my introduction to Wabi-Sabi. It is a visually beautiful book with beautiful words that I will keep out and revisit often.