Lucky Bamboo

When we purchased our current building almost seven years ago, one of our friends gave us bamboo, explaining that it’s to attract good luck.

Those of you who know me well know that my thumbs are anything but green, so this bamboo is lucky indeed—lucky to still be alive!

In terms of feng shui—the Chinese art of placement—it’s said that five elements must be present in order for bamboo to be lucky:

Earth—rocks or pebbles the bamboo grows in

Water—the bamboo grows with

Wood—represented by the bamboo itself

Fire—a red ribbon/cord tied to the container

Metal—glass belongs to the feng shui metal element

Our bamboo only meets three of the five criteria, but it’s going gangbusters! Maybe it’s because, from the ceiling above it, there’s a crystal hanging from a red cord.

The number of stalks is significant to the type of luck:

2—Love and Marriage



8—Wealth and Abundance

9—Good Fortune

For the greatest amount of luck, it’s said that you should receive bamboo as a gift, rather than purchase it for yourself.

I define luck as the intuitive means of success on all levels. My friend Terrill Welch of CreativePotager says that luck is where preparedness meets opportunity.

How do you define luck?


66 thoughts on “Lucky Bamboo

  1. “…luck is where preparedness meets opportunity.” I really like that. The best definition of “luck” I’ve read. The image of the bamboo is so restful. I like the orderliness of the stems and then the chaotic leaves. Kind of reminds me of the orderliness of reason and the free reign of creativity. Thank you.

    • Don – Like you, I really like Terrill’s definition of luck, too. In the Encinitas, California area there’s a botanical garden that has a “wall” of bamboo. Standing next to it is an incredibly peaceful experience. I like what you said about “the orderliness of reason and the free reign of creativity” — two wonderful ingredients in the human experience.

      • Interesting you say that. In a little place called St. Lucia on the North Coast of South Africa there is a garden there with a grove of bamboo. They call it “the singing bamboo.” People also stand next to the bamboo which kind of whispers and speaks in the sudden breezes which come off the sea. A beautiful place – so tranquil.

      • Oh I must clarify Laurie for you and your dear readers 🙂

        This is not just my person definition but one referenced from Deepak Choppra in a little book I have by him called THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF SUCCESS – A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams ((1994) Good luck is discussed at the end of the The Law of Detachment (p. 90 in my copy). Allow me if I may to provide a longer explanation to this short quote which has possibly with fairness been attributed to me as it perspective that I bring to my daily living and my conversations. But it is old principle I think – one likely borrowed through time and only written here by Choppra for our easy reference:

        The Law of Detachment does not interfere with the Law of Intention and Desire – with goal setting. You still have the intention of going in a certain direction, you still have a goal. However, between point A and point B there are infinite possibilities. (p. 88)

        This state of alertness – your preparedness in the present, in the field of uncertainty – meets with your goal and your intention and allows you to seize the opportunity. What’s the opportunity? It’s contained within every problem that you have in your life. Every single problem that you have in your life is the seed of an opportunity for some greater benefit. (p. 89)

        When your preparedness meets opportunity, the solution will spontaneously appear.

        What comes out of that is often called “good luck.” Good luck is nothing but preparedness and opportunity coming together. (p.90)

        So now you know why I often say “Good Luck is where preparedness meets opportunity.”

  2. Hi,
    I didn’t realize there was all that information attached to the bamboo, how wonderful that your bamboo is going so well. I love the way it is in the glass tubes in it’s own stand, I think that looks very nice, what a wonderful gift to receive. 🙂

  3. I have bamboo plants in several rooms – received two as gifts so that’s a good thing! To me, luck “happens” when you are in alignment with your intentions and it gets an extra boost from the vibes in the universe – somehow I like “where preparedness meets opportunity” as a simple definition.:)Hugs, SuZen

  4. I agree with Terrill, Laurie. If one is not prepared when the opportunity arises that window can easily be missed. I like to think I prepare for those opportunities by affirming that I am always successfully engaged in the right activities. . . . and, I too recognize and favor the properties of bamboo.

    • Alison – “…by affirming that I am always successfully engaged in the right activities.” I think I know you well enough to say that your definition of “right” activities, is something along the lines of thoughts and actions that are positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

  5. I know–I’m supposed to be away from the blogosphere this week, but I couldn’t help myself. We love bamboo at our house, maybe because we’ve lived in SE Asia. Don’t know how I define luck–but I love bamboo–especially in a vase, as you have it in the photo.
    Hugs to you, my dear!

    • Anne – I agree, it’s a terrific planter/holder/vase for bamboo 🙂 And it’s oh-so-easy to take care of. Because the “tubes” are glass, I can easily see when they need more water.

  6. I am with Terrill on this one -” When your preparedness meets opportunity, the solution will spontaneously appear.”
    I have been thinking about what to do with the 5 pieces of furniture given to grandchildren by my mother that no one has picked up but made a lot of excuses about for 5 years. The house next door is having an estate sale on the 30th…I asked the owner and estate sale person if I could put these 5 pieces into the sale and was given the opportunity to do just that… I am hoping that this opportunity will give us the funds we need to replace my husband’s wore out bike in time for his next tour in September….Now that would be fabulously good luck….
    Fun Post Laurie…I could not get the tweet button to work so just tweeted it manually…hope that does not wreck up the works…but just an FYI…
    The share buttons are not working on my site properly right now but IT Girl is away….not so lucky there 🙂

  7. We got our selves some bamboo, had all the fang shui elements. And it died. Still feel lucky and perhaps that is all that counts.

    Some years back, I read a book on the theory of luck. Very interesting.

  8. Hi Laurie

    I have this sort of love-hate relationship with bamboo. In my early teens, my best friend had big stands of bamboo growing on their farm, and one day he introduced me to bamboo diving – climbing up a big willow tree near the bamboo and jumping into the tops of the bamboo, like it was water. All seemed to go great, for a while until I noticed an itch starting to develop. By the next day, I had blown up like a balloon, with millions of tiny bamboo barbs in my skin, and spent a very uncomfortable week as the itching went down.

    I love bamboo as a resource, it is such a wonderful wood to work with, for creating all sorts of tools and pipes.

    As to luck, like many others here, where preparation meets opportunity.

    It seems that the probability functions that allow for variability at many levels of our being have room enough for a bit of luck now and then.

    • Ted – Bamboo diving sounds awful (worse than rolling in stinging nettles, or holding on to an electric fence). You’re absolutely right about it being a wonderful, naturally renewable resource — especially since it grows so fast!

  9. I’ve heard that thriving bamboo brings good luck, but so does wilted/dead bamboo! When the bamboo wilts, yellows, or dies, it is said to be absorbing any unlucky or negative energy away from your space so that all that remains is positive. Bamboo brings blessings either way. 🙂

  10. if we create…manifest who we are to be…
    then luck to me is our reactions to the actions of that creativity
    accepting the sychronicity your thoughts draw to you

    I love the Water bamboo….but then I love all plant life….
    they create a wonderful atmosphere of energy that makes
    you realize how “lucky” we are to be a part of this moment in time…

    Good Post Laura….
    Take Care….

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  12. Is it fair to ask a friend to give you bamboo as a gift? Hmmmm. As to luck – the cynic in me says luck is what you create when you work hard and live well. The dreamer in me says luck is bestowed upon us if we believe, if we have faith that all will end well. I do know I intensely dislike the term “if I didn’t have bad luck I’d have no luck at all” – it has such negative vibes for me.

    • Carol – Maybe, just maybe if you asked them to buy the bamboo, but didn’t give them the money — it would be doable 🙂 By the way, I agree with your negative vibe for that old saying.

  13. very interesting post bamboo for luck.. 😉 Thanks for your kind words on my 50th post… As it was also a condolence to my friend’s bereaved family, I could not thank u on that post.. Take care 🙂

  14. Luck may happen arbitrarily (how after all can you explain how some people win big lottery prizes, or call the stock market correctly?) but I am a firm believer that luck is more often than not something that attends those who have set the groundwork by making the right decisions and by setting the right priorities in motion.

    Speaking of “bamboo” I immediately think of the 1950’s Robert Ryan noir thriller HOUSE OF BAMBOO, which showcases a buffo roller coaster sequence neat the end.

    • Sam – You dangled the “House of Bamboo” carrot, and I jumped. I check online with our library to see if they had the 1955 film — a sister library has it and is sharing it with me. That’s quite an all-star cast: Robert Ryan, Robert Stack, Cameron Mitchell, Brad Dexter, and DeForest Kelley.

      I agree with your assessment: “life is more often than not something that attends those who have set the groundwork by making the right decisions and by setting the right priorities in motion.”

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  16. On your way to meet a friend for lunch…OH, No! You have stepped in chewing gum…Yeeuck! Bad luck. Dash into the convenience store for some WD-40 to remove gum….find a $100.00 bill stuck to the gum. Good luck!

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