“Old pond – frog jumps – the sound of water”       Matsuo Basho

This wonderful Haiku has a cadence and balance to it that is so Zen!   Its very unevenness, asymmetrical syllables create a finely tuned, oddly perfect beauty.

oddly even Zen, wabi sabi, debiriley.com
Oddly Even Zen


Zen and its branches

The master Japanese poet Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694)  wandered, observed and wrote many such lovely Haiku poems.


The difficulty in distilling, in capturing a single movement, moment or experience in 3 lines, under 17 syllables, and (roughly, but not critical)   in the 5-7-5 pattern,  takes years.

Years of observing and contemplating and practicing to fine tune these frozen time flashes.   Haiku really represents the beauty of and in simplicity; the bare bones.


I can see and relate, how the Zen in the Haiku relates to the Zen in Wabi Sabi and my art. The correlation between the two, so clear.


zen wabi sabi, fukinsei, debiriley.com
Floral Notes Shadows

Continuing with  The 7 Days of Zen

The Wabi Sabi element of asymmetry is Fukinsei.

This is simply things in uneven and odd patterns rather than symmetrical and evenly spaced, or even numbers to create a more pleasing composition.


By virtue of those elements being in odd, uneven, asymmetrical patterns – we can achieve a more spontaneous result.

Less contrived.   More rambling organic growing garden than a tightly manicured, rigidly edged lawn.


This asymmetrical appearance helps to give the viewer a nudge, a welcome, an Invite into image or poem or place.

It Relaxes  the eye.


Whether you’re a writer, sculptor, painter, musician….  Fukinsei, the oddly balanced asymmetrical elements you create in your work can help the viewers engage.


odd uneven trees, wabi sabi, debiriley.com
Odd Uneven Trees



So far, I’ve shared tidbits on 5 of the 7 Wabi Sabi elements.

Koko – Weather and Aged

Datsuzoku – Free and Unbounded

Shizen  –   Natural and Authentic

Seijaku –   Serenity    

Fukinsei –  Asymmetrical  and Odd