In the 1990s, I studied Ikebana with my Sensei (teacher), Taki Hitomi of the Ryusei-ha (the way of the dragon style) Ikebana School in Japan. After I completed my first arrangement, I felt a sense of accomplishment, serene contentment, and abundant joy. For the first time, I was mesmerized by the beauty that I had created and wanted to stay in the creative space for as long as possible. The feeling that I had at this moment can be compared to when we first lay our eyes on a newborn child, or when we fall in love with our true love. You feel captivated and instantly connected, grounded, and safe.
When we connect to nature, some of us feel complete, satisfied, and alive. From my experience, Ikebana has served as the creative engine in restoring and strengthening the life connections between humans and plants.
When I reflect on my journey in Ikebana, I feel a warm sense of appreciation and gratitude to my Sensei for graciously teaching me, a foreigner, the beautiful art of Ikebana. In the word Ikebana, "ike" means "to arrange” and "bana" means “flower.” Simply put, Ikebana means, “to arrange flowers.” The beauty of Ikebana oftentimes evokes an emotion or wonderment within, similar to other mediums of art like music, dancing, sculpting, or painting. To me, Ikebana is more than an arrangement of flowers. It is a journey of self-discovery and creating beauty within ourselves and in our environment.
Nature plays a critical role in our human life. Each flower, tree branch, and leaf reveal their own unique qualities and characteristics. The plant's irreplaceable roles include providing the air that we breathe, natural medicines that we use to heal and recover, and the splendor and fragrance that uplifts our spirits.
When I started in Ikebana, I noticed subtle changes in myself. I slept better and dreamed vividly. Back then, I was less aware of the information about the benefits of nature and human well-being. Today, there are many research publications and books on the psychosocial and physiological effects of nature. Some benefits of interacting with nature include decreasing blood pressure, reducing stress, improving mood, increasing cognitive functioning and positive socialization.
My wish is for people to engage more with nature and experience the creative world of Ikebana.
Mission: To provide opportunities to experience Ikebana through the heart of Hana Aloha.