The Nara village forests in Japan are packed by great-looking bamboo trees. In Japanese culture, the imagery and value of bamboo plants are profound and give us some real life and work lessons. We have outlined these examples of life lessons in brief considering the values of practicality and education. As you go through these examples inspired by bamboo, try to come up with some practical applications in your own life.
Compared to other kinds of wood which require a great amount of handling and completing, bamboo processing is more quick and simple. As the big Aikido guru Kensho Furuya reveals, the fighter like the Bamboo plant is always prepared for action. Through practicing and training for public speaking and other professional tasks, we can grow our own abilities of being prepared for work or our daily lives no matter what comes.
The core of a bamboo plant isn’t big per se but the whole plant can survive harsh winters and extreme heat during the summer months–in many cases, bamboos are the only trees that remain following a typhoon outbreak. They may not grow as tall as other plants or trees but they stand still and strong in harsh environmental conditions. Bamboo isn’t as weak as it may look and can’t break apart easily.
Keep in mind that we should be mindful and avoid undervaluing others or even ourselves according to society perceptions of what is deemed as strong or weak. You may not work in the largest corporation or come from Harvard but like the bamboo plant, you may stand still and honor your own talents and powers and realize you can be as powerful as you have to be.
Be adaptable while staying firm inside the ground. The bamboo plants bend even in the lightest air. This mild bending motion as the wind passes depicts the value of humbleness. Their cores are stiff and solid and still, the whole plant can bend lightly in the wind while keeping their roots strongly inside the soil. Their base is strong despite any body movements and they flex nicely with the breeze without moving against it.
Over the passage of time, even the most heavily blowing wind starts to fade out but the bamboo plant is still standing strong. A flexible but not breaking approach that accepts the natural movement of things is the key that leads to life success– whether we are referring to bamboo plants or the daily struggles of our lives and works.
Bamboo plants are known as the quickest developing trees in the globe. Even by sticking to a lifelong learning and development approach, just like a Bamboo growth cycle, our development could be highly significant when we take a look on where or how we started out. We may, in this case, realize how much we have grown. The pace in which we reach that point shouldn’t bother us–only that we keep on advancing ourselves forward.
Bamboos develop quicker around the rainfall months. You as a human may encounter periods where the growth is more quick and intense where in others the growth might be slower. Yet with a continuous attempt, you will always grow further. Do not get bothered by any wrongful assumptions that you haven’t noticed any improvement or development. If you keep going, you are growing no matter what and you will realize this once time has passed.
We frequently tend to overcomplicate ourselves and struggle to simplify easy or minor things because we are worried that others will take notice. Once we get rid of this unreasonable fear, we can leave room for more creativity and simplicity to come into our lives and seek fixes to even the hardest problems. That way we can lead by example and show our value to clients, associated, patients or our students.
Aikido expert Kensho Furuya comments that the bamboo plant is an example of a simplicity that proves to be valuable and humans should follow this.
The void interiors of the bamboo plant shows us that we are often too jammed and busy with our own judgments that we leave no room for new valuable things to enter our space. If we really want to gain wisdom and enlightenment from our environment and others, we have to open up ourselves to new experiences. When you get rid of any preconceptions, selfishness and worry, we expose ourselves to new potential.
They say that in order to gain knowledge, the initial step is to remove from our minds any prejudices and misconceptions. It’s impossible to fill a glass with new substance if it’s already 100% filled.
Bamboo traditionally symbolizes prosperity and this is why it is used as an icon in Japanese New year festivities. The key depiction of a snow-filled bamboo plant symbolizes the strength to flourish even following a fight. The bamboo survives the heavy load of the snowfall and even took the strength to grow back–this is an example of survival and not getting crushed.
During the winter season, heavy snowfall flexes the bamboo plant back until one moment, the snow gets so dense that starts to fall on the ground and the bamboo rises back strong and tall once again, wiping away all the piled up snow.