Mending the Breaks

Jo Mooy

The holy artisan of the soul knows that human flaws happen so repairs to the spirit can be mended.

Life is a continual cycle of things coming into existence and going out of existence. All things, no matter if it’s a person, a sofa, a bowl or a vase, are part of that cycle. Each has a beginning and an ending—a birth and death. What happens in between those two events is an allotted amount of time to enjoy the object, or not, the experiences encountered, or not, to relate with others, or not, to mark the passage well, or not, and to live a best life, or not.

Some experiences during the allotted time can mar the vessel. A person might face emotional hurt over a life situation. Though it’s an invisible injury, it’s as real as a physical one and leaves unhealed scars on the individual. Wine spilled on a sofa becomes a permanent stain with no option but to replace it. A vase falling off a shelf can break, shattering the pot into many pieces. Most people would discard the vase, consigning it to a memory.

The Japanese however, took the cycle of the vase’s allotted time and reverently turned it into the Zen practice of Kintsugi. The vase was once created by skilled artists. It was treasured by a purchaser and beautifully displayed in the home. One day it broke. Instead of throwing the broken vase into the trash, the pieces were retrieved and repaired, but in a new way.

The Kintsugi artisans believe the blemishes and breaks are part of the vase’s lifecycle and should be honored and respected. Kintsugi means “golden repair.” The artists use liquid gold,

liquid silver, and resin filled with gold dust to mend the breaks in the pottery. This process makes it much stronger than before. The technique also creates a more unique vase with distinctive golden designs that highlight the cracks. And, the added gold increases the value of the urn. The art of Kintsugi puts value on imperfection. By embracing the flaws and bruises, a stronger and more beautiful piece of art emerges.

Kintsugi is a metaphor for living with life’s ups and downs. Breaks often occur in families, friendships and relationships. For some it’s easy to focus on the breaks. They love all the drama and imagined storytelling that went into the break. Living in the past, all they see is how the perfect vase used to look on the perfect shelf. Sadly, the potential to see the beauty of the golden repair never occurs.

The holy artisan of the soul knows that human flaws happen so repairs to the spirit can be mended. We’re imperfect pieces of pottery. When we fail in an expectation or fall down from a lofty perch, it’s a glorious opportunity to understand what the broken shards are about and try to repair and heal the pot. The result is a more beautifully tempered vessel of expression.

Inherent in the practice of Kintsugi is expressing gratitude for both the good and the bad. It re-frames the negative experiences so a more positive one is experienced. All the flaws, all the breaks, all the imperfections, recognized for what they are, can create a better and more healed individual. Kintsuge defines a spiritual practice of personal wellness that puts a golden lacquer on the breaks in our character so a better human evolves. It’s a compelling practice that teaches us to gild the scars.

Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill,
she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to or email

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