Two years ago, in July 2015 I got my Sogetsu ikebana teaching degree.
This calligraphy was my teacher’s gift to me: my ikebana name on rice paper. It is pronounced as Ton So. You cannot imagine how much I was looking forward to receiving my ikebana “baptism”. Here are the two main reasons why:
1. According to the tradition the first part of the name comes from my teacher’s name, which is Ton Sen. Being forever associated with this most humble, talented, caring person and artist is the greatest honor one could only dream of.
2. I was curious what will be the meaning of the second part of the name. What will my teacher select for me? How does she see my relationship with ikebana and my place in it?
I got the “So” part of the name given to me. It means "idea". And this is absolutely aligned with how I feel about ikebana: it is a creative environment for ideas. Crazy or elegant, emotional or peaceful, radical or classic – you can express it all in ikebana.
Sometimes I get asked “what if you run out of ideas one day?” and I typically answer that there is more of it where this came from.
None of the creative ideas are intellectually produced by us. We just manage to tune into the universal abundance and “download” the idea we need at that moment. It can never be over, can never be empty. Of course we could fall out of the alignment with it for a moment. But then we could always come back home and get in touch with the ultimate source of creativity again.
The most direct way of connecting for me is (you guessed it) arranging ikebana. You can call it ikebana meditation. I once wrote about it on my blog. Have a look if this topic is of interest for you http://ikebanaweb.com/ikebana-meditation/