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Kintsugi and the Golden Joining of Compassion

“Golden joining,” better known as Kintsugi, is a Japanese art of restoring fractured or damaged pottery. The ancient art developed over 400 years uses gold dust mixed with lacquer to fill in the cracks. In the joining, in the process of repair— a unique piece of pottery emerges. The gold filings reveal the trails of “blemishes”. These tiny imperfections soften the ragged edges and fill in the gaps. With each stroke, with each filling, with each breath, a healing process appears.

From brokenness and damage, beauty and resilience are born.

Moment to moment, life is filled with imperfection. We can get stuck in a narrowed mindset and be very hard on ourselves when things seem to fall short. We can add to our suffering by feeling fractured and unaware of our emotions. We can be caught up in a difficult experience. Like dealing with the pressures of a global pandemic, being late to a meeting, stuck in traffic, or perhaps we are having a conflict with someone.

How can we can invite the golden joining in life, when we are faced with difficult times?

Compassion, like Kintsugi, softens the rough edges. It fills in the holes. It embraces the blemishes. It lays down a foundation to hold all as it is by honoring life’s ups and downs. Compassion is as an empathetic, conscious effort to relieve suffering. It stems from loving acceptance, non-judgment, openness to impermanence and oneness. Compassion is a key element of the Buddhist spiritual lineage. When choosing to engage in compassion it is a golden joining of the heart and mind. It’s a connecting of the broken space and weaving pieces together.

So how do we do this? How do we practice compassion day in and day out?

Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will offer practical tips and suggestions!


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