By Anne-Marie Keppel
Don't order flowers for your loved one this Valentine's Day. Instead, make your gift more intimate by creating an Ikebana arrangement!
Ikebana, traditional Japanese flower arrangement, has its origins in Shinto where arrangements are a part of shrine offerings.
What sets ikebana apart is the asymmetry in design - open spaces create harmony between the flower stems and the container.
This contemplative art form is meant to bring beauty, vividness, and wisdom into our lives and environment. The practice of ikebana, combined with contemplative meditation, is art in action. Although this is a very specific practice, you can try your hand at it with some beginner instructions (if you cannot attend an ikebana class or find a friend to help you before Valentine's Day). Simple instructions can be found at: Ikebana Instructions eHow.com
For more information on other Shambhala Arts visit: Shambhala Arts
*Karmê Chöling will be hosting Shambhala Art this April 6-13 with Arawana Hayashi and Laura Simms.