Zen is the most essential meditative state in our lives right now, where we dont even get time to remain still and watch the inner mind's sheer beautifulness. If you are postponing to learn meditation now, atleast try giving a zen makeover to your home and see the difference!! You will end up travelling into deep meditative states of your mind :)
Bringing the essence of Zen in our home, is to help calm down our stressed mind, bring clarity in thoughts, allow us to breathe more freely and consciously, become one with nature and things around us (Feel the Oneness). The ultimate reason of Zen design is to create a peaceful, inspiring home that looks good without much a do.
What is Zen in spiritual terms?
Zen is a style of Buddhist spiritual practice. It is sometimes called a 'teaching' or a 'philosophy', but its core is the practice. As a Zen practitioner: # Throughout your daily life and work, you cultivate a calm, clear, pure, wide open attitude of mind. # You practice conscious awareness, with mind and body, in everything you do - all day long. # You practice loving kindness toward all beings (not just the human ones). # You meditate in the zazen style, sitting quietly, emptying your mind of thoughts (memories, plans, opinions) and focusing on your breathing.
Now lets get into business, following are the basics of Zen Design Principle:
The first basic idea of bringing Zen into your home, is to de-clutter your space. Remove things that lay idle in your home, without any need (though you may like them a lot!). Have minimal furniture and things around you, this gives more space to your relaxing mind. This doesnt mean that you should have an empty room, but anything you add must be comfortable, pleasing and welcoming. Avoid any complex patterns or colors that would stimulate you, there are umpteen things outside your home to do that for you. Clear all surfaces including tables and sidetables, to give in more spacious look.
Stay with neutral colors for your zen space - choose earthy or watery tones (One trick is use neutral shades like brown/grey/white/black with one single cool color tone like blue/green). Use natural textures and fibers to decorate, like things made of bamboo, jute, wood, natural stones, pebbles, etc. If you can afford a budget for the makeover, you can go for wooden/parquet flooring (Walking bare footed on a
wooden floor is sheer awesomeness!!).
One way to focus and calm your mind, is to place a natural object or an artwork at the focal point of the room and surround it by a lot of empty space. This focal object can be a Bonsai tree, a buddha statue, a small waterfall, natural scenary picture, pebbles, flower, etc.
"Start experimenting with a small corner of your home like the coffee table, hallway, sitout/balcony, garden, or just any space where you can rest your eyes and mind for sometime."
5. Decorate your garden with an arrangement of Buddha, pebble stones, flowers and some flowing water, arranged in the way you like it.
6. You can also place this arrangement of varoius sized pebble stones in the focal point of your living room with a colorful flower by it's side. (A complete DIY with natural things available - at no extra cost)
9. Have a small Zen Garden setup in your balcony or atleast a desktop zen garden on your table. Zen Garden is a miniature dry landscaping, made up of sand and rocks. Lines are drawn on the sand surface with a small rake or fingers, curvy lines makes it look more divine. When you draw these lines, you get a sense of accomplishment and relaxation. It has come from the Japanese tradition of rock gardens, where a few simple and natural elements are combined to create a tranquil, stark, and symbolic garden. Zen gardens have proved to be a good stress reliever and bring in tranquility. Make your own zen garden with any small tray (wooden tray looks more Zen) with beach sand, gravels/pebbles, candles and flowers to decorate.
It is not necessary to follow all of the above ideas to give a Zen look, you can just follow one and see the change it brings in to your home.