People are stressed. You're stressed, your family is stressed, your boss is stressed (and stresses you), your coworkers, your neighbors, heck even your dog is probably stressed. And we all need a place where we can regroup, recharge and refocus. If you think about it, we have a place for cooking, watching TV, sleeping, and going to the washroom, yet very few of us have cut out a little sliver of our home for recharging and regrouping. A space that can make you feel relaxed, and at peace just by looking at it, and a place you may utilyze to reap the benefits of mindfulness and purposeful focus.
In traditional Indian Vaastu (the original Feng Shui) the prayer area, or Pooja Room is THE MOST important area of the house, and often can take the center of the home. This area is considered a sacred space and has a number of rules one should follow to optimize its energies. However for our uses, we can slack on these rules, and just use the idea of a Pooja Room as an inspiration for our meditation area or what I call your Zen Zone.
1. Keep it as simple as you want.
I need to state this clearly! A meditation area does not need to be complex or huge. In fact, it should be fun project to set up and bring you joy designing it. It doesn't make sense to get stressed while setting up your destress area, as you will always remember the difficulty in setting it up, and a negative energy may remain.
Left- A simple home Zen Zone.
2. Choose a quiet area.
Let's be honest, most of us do not have an entire room to spare for a meditation only area. But if you do have a spare room, you could think about making it a spiritual "multi-use room". You can use it as a library, educational or art area, and a meditation area. But for most of us, we will just be able to slice out a corner in a quiet area of the home. Ensure there will also not be a lot of foot traffic or distractions, I find the far corner of a living room area can work well.
3. Choose are area with great natural daylight.
As you can see in the images above, if you can set up your Zen Zone by a window with some soft diffusing curtains allowing you to create a great, mind easing yet re-energizing environment.
4. Add some air care plants.
Some nature elements make great additions to your area. Plants give us fresh oxygen and absorb both many airborne toxins and CO2. Studies have shown they also help us relax faster and better.
5. Keep the air flowing
In Feng Shui and Vaastu, the flow of energy and air is important. Make sure you're Zen Zone has some light air flow, so you don't get stagnant air or any disrupting strong breezes either.
6. Clean & Smelling Great
Make sure you keep your Zen Zone zen! Keep the clutter down to a minimum, just a few pieces that inspire you (see below) and don't distract you. NO electronics should be in view, like TV or anything else. This is literally your disconnect to connect zone. Also, be sure to keep it smelling nice, the use of an essential oil diffuser, pot pourri, flowers or a Dreamtime herbal pillow bag.
Who doesn't love to accessorize? And nothing makes a Zen Zone better than some inspirational designs and accessories. There are many great things you can add to your Zen Zone;
A - Zabuton's & Zafu's (traditional massage pillows). These can be simple or unique, and you can even get handmade ones from exotic places like India or Thailand.
B - Japanese Zen Garden
For people not into plants but still want some nature and design, a small Japanese Zen Rock and Sand Garden can be fun. You can also redesign the patterns anytime you like.
C - Zen Water Fountain
Nothing makes people feel more relaxed then the sound of light running water. Adding a small fountain or waterfall can really help relax the mind. You can also use wave or nature sounds too if you prefer.
D - Special Artwork
Some inspirational art work. This can be religious according to your beliefs, or just be special to you. Keep the art inspirational and positive. Avoid depressing or violent art. ** FYI to any Christian reading this, meditation has played a large part in Christianity too historically, so feel free to toss up some Christian art if that's your thing.
E - Light Therapy
The use of items like candles (use beeswax, coconut wax or soy, not cheap and toxic paraffin). Himalayan Rock lamps are a great light source that also helps to release negative ions and clean the air.
8. Multi-Zen Task
Feel free to add some non-meditation elements into your area as long as it doesn't take away from your Zen designed environment. Things like a journal, sketch pad, small easel or even a traditional Yoga mat for some Zen Yoga is also a great idea.
9. Lighten Up
Finally use light colors and soft colours in your design. Pastels and creams do well, as does light blues, greens and purple. Earth tones do well. You can also use rocks, and woods for a more natural feel. And soft textiles also work well.
My Personal Zen Zone Currently Under Construction.
As you can see, my Zen Zone sadly doesn't have a window, but I am currently still setting it up.
Right now in it I have the traditional cotton Mysore yoga mat I picked up in India, along with a small wooden flute I bought in India as well, with a plastic Pyramid I picked up at the Bangalore Pyramid Valley Mediation retreat I visited for a week just outside of Bangaluru.
I also have a couple books on meditation, including my newest book on meditation and yoga rooms from around the world (not shown). Above the top off picture, I also have a couple Buddhist pieces of artwork from Thailand, some small Asian table lamps in close proximity and my gold & black Ruesi Datton (Thai yoga) scarf from Thailand.
Soon I plan on adding a Zabuton & Zafu when I find that special one I really like, as well as a Pink Rock Lamp.
I hope you have found this guide to setting up your own Zen Zone to be useful, and I truly do think that everyones home needs a small area where we can take even just a few quiet, and inspiring moments for ourselves. Let me know what you think, and if you will be setting a Zen Zone up, or already have one in your home.