Sanghamitra showing us some of her ikebana arrangements
I became attracted to ikebana over ten years ago when I saw the arrangements Madhuma made for our Osho meditation center in Boulder. I went to the annual ikebana show in Denver, met some of the Japanese practitioners there and felt, “Wow, flowers, color, sculpture and meditation all in one art form.” I started taking lessons with Mrs. Kita of the Sogetsu school in Boulder in 2002 and then began to arrange flowers with the children in my Montessori preschool. In 2010 I went to Tokyo to take lessons from Akane Teshigahara, the headmaster of the school.
Madhuma moved to Australia and now I make the arrangements for both our Osho center and for the Shambhala Buddhist center. I have also begun to teach beginners in the art of ikebana. Ikebana is a lifelong practice and I intend to continue to take lessons on this ka-do (way of flowers), as my teacher, Mrs. Kita, did until she died.
One thing I like about ikebana in particular is that it includes the whole plant world from arranging with a single petal to using a tree trunk! Another is that, because the teachers encourage students to use found items like downed branches or upturned tree roots, ikebana has lead me to be more observant of the natural world.
Since my teenage years, when my mother told me about J. Krishnamurti, I have been attracted to the possibility of an inner blossoming. In 1968 I went to college in Bangalore, India, and was introduced to Osho’s writings and to tropical flowers. That was followed by exposure to the flower markets in Bankgok and Bali which I visited after college. In 1975 I took sannyas and after a couple of years worked in the cloth stockroom in the boutique until Osho left for America. I now live in Boulder, Colorado, and work as a free-lance flower arranger.