The Bamboo That Bends



The Bamboo that bends is stronger than the Oak that resists. - Japanese Proverb

As ancient Chinese poets have written describing an honorable man, they compared him to bamboo. They reveal that he does not have to be physically strong, but must be mentally strong, upright and perserverant.  As the fastest growing plant in the world, bamboo can grow up to forty inches within just a twenty four hour time frame. It all stems from their environment. The right conditions of temperature, soil, heat, light and water, which when brought together are the forces of energy that we too, live for.

The plant known as bamboo has been in existence for seven thousand years, and it's purpose has been instrumental in all areas of life as a food, medicinal, design, construction and a defense source in our sustainability to enhance and protect our well being.  Because of its history and  the depth of natural gifts it has to offer, we connect to this plant unlike no other. I design with bamboo both on interior and exterior design projects, including my own home where bamboo wood flooring, cut vertically, enhances the living space with a natural and extraordinary material.

We need to compare our life to bamboo. We have all searched for our history and read our stories of who we are and where are ancestors came from. Understand and give yourself all that you need to be who you are. Surround yourself with those that support you and  feed your soul. Just as with bamboo, it is amazing to see how fast you will grow when you are given the genuine love, light and water that you need to connect to all that you are. The bamboo has learned that with conflict or adversity, it must bend. It never changes the essence of what it is. The bamboo knows it cannot be an oak tree, or blossom like a lotus, it is bamboo.

In nature as in life, it is not about how fast or how slow something grows, it is the realization of it's existence and nurturing it's soul. Be Bamboo.

Love and Light...


copyright 2013 MaryEllen Malinowski, Zen Living by design | Infrared Light Int'l


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    I must learn to be Bamboo.

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    MaryEllen Malinowski

    Zen Living by design is a division of Infrared Light International, a lifestyle design company that enlightens, educates and empowers clients to connect with living an extraordinary life based on the simple elements of nature, water, light and tranquility. Founded by MaryEllen Malinowski in 1994, The Infrared Light Gallery®’s success is based on eastern art, lifestyle, designs, travel and international design concepts that make people’s homes, business and personal well being reflect a simplified Zen Living. "M" is an international award winning Infrared photographer, published author, Japanese garden designer and Executive Director of The Koi Whisperer Sanctuary. Her mission is to enlighten Chicago and the world to experience Zen Living by their own design. Zen Living by design Magazine coming Spring 2014

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