Ma ้–“

We're all desperate for more in today's world.

More money; more friends; more things, with the expectation that it will make us more happy.

For Japanese minimalism, and the concept of Ma (้–“), less is more.

Ma literally translates to "space between".

It refers to the emptiness in space or time - a space between things, words, or actions.

At its core, Ma is the space that allows things to exist and stand out as having genuine meaning and value.

Ma is also silent. Comfortable silent is used frequently in Japanese conversation. It's the pauses within a speech that brings out the meaning of the words being spoken.

Japanese culture reflects Ma in many ways:

  • The Japanese bow has a pause at the bottom to accentuate the meaning of the action
  • Arrangement of Japanese bonsai plants and flowers (ikebana)
  • Art of Japanese calligraphy (shodo)
  • Tatami tea rooms
  • Traditional Noh theatre, emphasizes what the actor isn't doing

What are things in your life that you can remove to create more space?

โ€˜The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your lifeโ€ฆ Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest that does not spark joyโ€™.