As I was showing some guests around Auriga Spa this morning, they were pleasantly surprised and intrigued at the beautiful lush bamboo gardens attached to each of our treatment rooms. I have to agree that it is quite an elegant sight to see those slender stately stems reach high and tip over ever so slightly, almost like a graceful ballerina.
Quintessentially Asian, beyond be aesthetically pleasing, bamboo plays a large role in Buddhism. Ancient Buddhist teachings instruct believers not to do anything cruel to animals. Therefore most forms of food such as meat, eggs and fish were not encouraged in the diet. However, people still needed nutritious options, thus, the tender bamboo shoot became a good alternative. The bamboo shoot is nourishing and eating it will not violate the Buddhist cannon. Even today, the bamboo is used in many traditional Asian dishes.
Besides its culinary benefits, Bamboo also plays a very important role in traditional Chinese culture, bearing many symbolic meanings and is often used as an object lesson for a person’s behavior.
Given its tall upright stature, tenacity and hollow heart, the bamboo is often associated with integrity and elegance, even though it may not be physically strong. Ancient Chinese poets wrote many metaphoric poems praising the bamboo, and referring to how people should be like a bamboo plant and expressing their understanding of what is a real gentleman should be like.
Bamboo in itself is said to be able to bring with it a very peaceful and wise energy. The Chinese believe that it teaches the ultimate wisdom: how to be flexible and hollow (open) on the inside, so that the spirit can freely flow and heal your being.
The next time you visit Capella Singapore, do take some time to visit Auriga Spa for a relaxing treatment and remember to enjoy a moment in the bamboo gardens. Who knows, you just might pick up a few life lessons from it.