What is a Zen Zone you ask? To put it simply, it’s a place all about you, or at least about you during the time you’re in it. Depending on your situation, you may want to share it, or keep it as all yours, and for simplicity sake, I’m just going to talk about designing to for you.
Now in this space you can do lots of things; meditate, just breathe, listen to a podcast, do some art, write, journal, read a book, or even play an instrument, it’s whatever you need in your life that helps you to zen out after a long day, break up your day, or to help you prepare for the day.
I got the idea for home Zen Zones from my travels and living throughout Asia and India, and in each place I would find variations on the them of mindfulness and reflection. The Pooja rooms in India homes, the small altars in Buddhists homes throughout Asia, to even gaining ideas from the many temples I visited. Many of these areas are aimed traditionally towards prayer, but I saw no reason why we couldn’t use the idea towards more personal reasons than religious, and it doesn’t matter how big or how small they are either. I've seen homes with entire rooms dedicated to meditation, yoga and movement, to just small corners, which is what this blog is more baed on. But when I lived in Thailand, I myself built and entire room dedicated to yoga, stretching, my love of music, and just kicking back with a guitar and sitting on the floor, but now in Vancouver, I’ve settled for just a small zen zone in a corner of the bedroom.
The first rule is simple. There really are no rules, only what I call considerations.
Your zen zone is your zen zone. It can be whatever you want. Modern, traditional, cheesy, focused on a theme like music, travel, film, or art, anything, just make sure it’s all about you. However, it should be in a place that allows you to relax and get into a flow state, and not a space to overwhelm or excite you. Think stress free.
What's in Mine You Ask?
In mine I have a mixed collection. I have a low profile bean bag chair, a mediation zabuton (or floor cushion), a meditation zafu, and a couple unique yoga mats I brought over from travels in India.
The second consideration is lighting.
I think it best to have it close to a window if possible, to allow you to get some daily day light, and to provide a view. Mine is actually not close to a window unfortunately, but I instead use a Himalayan rock salt lamp as a light, and I also have a lamp close by that uses a bedtime bulb for any evening sessions before bed.
The third consideration is decor.
I have a few choice pieces that serve some purposes. The first thing you would notice is this strange plastic pyramid hanging above the zabuton, this is my meditation pyramid from a trip to India, and while I don’t believe it “increases my meditation practice”, it does remind me to use the space, and reminds me of my trip to Pyramid Valley in Indian for a meditation retreat.
I also keep a book which was an amazing find called Mediative Spaces by Micheal Freeman, which covers hundreds of ideas for meditation spaces from all over the world; indoors, outdoors, from entire rooms, to small corners, and believe me, some people go all out with Japanese rock gardens, mazes, and even meditation towers. There is also a bookshelf close by to my zen zone where I keep all my interest books on health, yoga, feng shui, vastu, and Ayurveda.
There is also a small flute I bought on a trip to India, a wind chime from China, as well as a traditional Thai scarf which I use for my Thai Yoga (Ruesi dat ton) practice. And finally, I also have an Oasis framed poster on ground here to as they are one of my two favourite bands to keep the music theme from my Thailand Rock n' Rollga room alive. You can also add family pics, or pics from meaningful and positive events in your life.
Another thing I like is plants, unfortunately right now do not have any plants in my zen zone, but they are something I’m planning on adding very soon. In other parts of my home I do have a Chinese money tree, and a ginseng plant, but sadly my zen zone is still green free. I do however strongly suggest some plants, particularly the air cleaning kinds, so I’ll probably be getting some of the plants off the NASA top 10 air cleaning plants, mainly Snake plants, and a Chinese coin plant or two. But I’m also thinking maybe a bigger rubber leaf plant, and I’m toying with the idea of a consult from a Biophilic designer or home plant specialist to help me set it up, as I do kind of want to go bigger than just some plant in the corner, but I also need some plants that don’t require a lot of effort. So if you happen to be one of those people and in the Vancouver area, give me a call.
Finally the last consideration is quiet.
You really need to pick an area that is quite and you will be left alone. It may be under a staircase, in your bedroom, in a solarium room, or even an attic or basement, but just make sure the area is a place where you can have your me time with out being disrupted.
There you have it some of my top tips for setting up your home zen zone. I do strongly believe that you should decorate and furnish it with interesting and meaningful items, and probably setting it up entirely from your local Walmart, Target or Amazon may be a bit less special than it could be. Get outside the box! Go to local boutique shops, mom n' pop shops, art stores, small, single owned furnishings/decor businesses, maybe visit some yoga studios, and local artists, look for crafts people in your area, arts & craft fairs, or artisan markets. Maybe learn about some new techniques or interesting tools to help you get into your flow. Or, my favourite advice? Start to travel more. All my favourite pieces are from at least 10,000 km away from this room. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is, JUST GET A ZEN ZONE! If it’s all Ikea, Amazon and Walmart so be it, you can always add to it later, and just setting open up may inspire you to see and do more.
I hope you enjoyed this blog, and if you did, please share it with someone who could benefit from it, and you can always check out my latest videos on my YouTube channel. Until next time I’m here to help you live Stronger, Longer and Better.