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The art of Kintsugi

Retreats for our STAR clients are a chance for them to be a part of different mindfulness activities. Recently, our counsellor Zeenat explored the art of Kintsugi. For those who do not know what Kintsugi is, here is an explanation:

  • ‘Kin’ means gold
  • ‘Tsugi’ means re-joining
  • ‘Wabisabi’ believes that things are always more beautiful when they bear the marks of age and individuality

Art reflects life… In our lives we get ‘hammered’ and we sit with our pieces. We have to find a way to redefine what wholeness looks like. And to make something beautiful out of the life that we have. Zeenat chose the Art of Kintsugi to demonstrate that different aspects of our fragmented life can be put back together in such a way that our “imperfections” are highlighted and become a thing of beauty and individuality.

STAR retreat practices the art of Kintsugi

In the pictures you will see the different tools which are used.

The bowl – this represents some aspects of ourselves.

The cloth – this represents the things that hold us together, like our mother’s love, our faith or our own resilience.

The hammer – this is the next teacher and is the instrument for change. It can destroy but it can also be used to build. In this instance, the hammer is used as an object to enable positive change.

The glue – this represents the connection, the chemical product coming together to hold the fragmented pieces together, like therapy.

Connecting the pieces

Connection is the name of the game here; not perfection. Healing happens as a result of this. When the hammer is used, the bowl breaks. The cracks and holes in your bowls can be representations of loss. Or could be space for new information to come in. These cracks might be important parts of your story. The left-over pieces are a representation of the things that we do not need.

Every bowl has a story to tell; just like every person has a story to tell. We are just telling it through the bowl.


The gold

This is connected by the glue and is shown through the cracks in our reconstructed bowls. This is the glory, it’s the celebration. It is not about the colour in any way but more about a highlight. The gold is an opportunity to highlight the journey. It is drawing a map of the story that you went through or how you did this.

KINTSUGI is a reflection of what it is to be human. We all get hammered and we have to sit with our pieces and find a way to redefine what wholeness looks like and to make something beautiful with the life that we have, WABISABI.

After this activity, Matthew carried out some more activities to support with mindfulness. This included meditation, blowing bubbles to help manage anxiety, drumming (with a focus on the vibrations), the sound and the rhythm and then the day was finished with creating mindfulness jars.

The feedback was very positive which is a huge credit to Zeenat and Matthew, so thank you to them for ensuring the day was a great one!

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