Kintsukuroi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery through the use of a lacquer resin sprinkled with gold powder to mend the broken pieces back together.

At some point in the 15th Century, the Japanese started to employ this technique. Collectors everywhere started to clamor after these repaired pieces because they were seen to be much more beautiful than the originals.

Kintsukuroi artists became known not so much for their ability to make things as good as new, but instead to render them better than new.

The piece is considered more beautiful for having been broken.

Looking at a potted bowl, for example, as having life force, many would say that the bowl’s life force was finished the moment it was dropped or broken.

From the Kintsukuroi perspective the true life of the bowl actually began the moment it was dropped.

Such is the Recovery 2.0 perspective of people in recovery from addiction.

Addiction is only a curse for a person in an un-recovered state.  For the person who walks the path of recovery, their addiction becomes the vehicle by which he or she  will achieve the fullest possible expression in this life.

What is to be our golden lacquer? We are put back together using the gold powder of the 12-Steps and other recovery paths, yoga, meditation, connecting with the innate wisdom within each one of us and being of service to others. These are the elements that make up the beautiful golden lacquer of the path of recovery.

When we use these tools as the golden glue in which to mend our broken pieces, something incredible happens. We become transformed, not just into the entity we once were, but into an entirely new being more beautiful than what the original ever could have been.

In the mirror, We see that we bare the mark.  The cracks are still there, but filled in now with unique golden lines. 

We know where we have been and we are better now for having been there. We have been fragile like a china doll. “Just a little nervous from the fall,” is how Robert Hunter, one of the lyricists for the Grateful Dead, put it.

In recovery, we have combined our fragility with resilience and love to find a life of such richness that before we could never have imagined…A powerful lesson for us all on the difficult and magical path of recovery.

Originally published at

Tommy Rosen is a Yoga Teacher, Addiction Recovery Expert and Author of Recovery 2.0 (Hay House).

His 8-Week Online Coaching Programs have helped thousands of people to heal, transform and thrive.

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