Zen living is an ancient Asian philosophy rooted in the teachings of Buddhism.
At its core, the goal of zen living is to achieve balance and harmony in everyday life. It focuses on simplicity, minimalism, and mindfulness. Practising zen living can help reduce stress levels, improve mental clarity, and cultivate inner peace.
Zen has become increasingly popular in recent years as more people are looking for ways to reduce stress and find inner peace. Many people use meditation or mindfulness practices as a way to develop their sense of clarity and awareness. Additionally, some people have incorporated zen principles into their daily lives by incorporating activities like yoga into their routine or using aromatherapy as a way to relax and find peace.
Zen Buddhism focuses a lot on simplicity and finding grounding in the natural state of the world, this ties in closely with wabi-sabi - and can be expressed in both the ways in which we live and aesthetics. These two concepts rely heavily on one another, encouraging those that practise it to no longer value ideas of pristine perfection but to seek beauty in the rustic, naturally ageing and tarnished. These teachings have had a large impact on the way in which creativity is expressed in the East, including how interiors come to be.
Zen originated from Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, which was a branch of Buddhism established during the first century CE. It is believed to have first been cultivated in India, eventually making its way to China where many of its ideas were formalised. It has since spread throughout East Asia, particularly Japan where it was embraced by the samurai class and developed into a distinct philosophy known as "Japanese Zen." While it is based on Buddhist teachings, its goal is not to become enlightened or attain Nirvana; instead, its main focus is on finding inner peace by developing a deep connection with nature through meditation.
The first step towards achieving a more zen life is to declutter your space. Decluttering means getting rid of any unnecessary objects that create visual chaos or just take up space without serving any purpose. Once your space has been decluttered, focus on using natural materials like reclaimed wood or stone in your home decor choices. Natural materials have a calming effect that helps promote relaxation and well-being. Additionally, soft colours such as whites, beiges, greys, blues, and greens can also help create feelings of calmness in your home environment.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that involves arranging furniture in order to promote energy flow throughout a space. The idea behind feng shui is that certain arrangements can create positive energy which leads to better health, wealth, and relationships for those who inhabit the space.
Zen living shares many similarities with feng shui; both philosophies strive for balance and harmony while focusing on minimalism and simplicity. By incorporating elements of both feng shui and zen into your interior design plan, you can create a space that promotes peace and relaxation while also harnessing the power of positive energy flow.
A zen garden is a miniature landscape with carefully placed rocks, sand, shrubs, and trees that is designed to encourage zen living. This type of garden taps into zen philosophy as it promotes balance and simplicity by allowing practitioners to contemplate nature in its most basic form. The idea behind zen gardens is that the changing positions of the stones and raked sand represent the cycle of life, allowing zen devotees to dissolve their sense of self through contemplation.
They often incorporate a few Buddhist symbols such as stones with inspirational words or phrases carved into them to remind us to "find time to be still" amidst our hectic lives. At its most profound, the zen garden gives one a glimpse into something far greater than what can be seen on Earth.
Have you ever noticed how some spaces feel peaceful and calming, while others make you feel tense and anxious? This is because interior design can have a huge impact on how you feel.
Zen living offers us an opportunity to slow down our lives by finding peace within ourselves through mindful practices like yoga or meditation as well as through our physical environment - our homes! While it often starts as an internal journey, manifesting it around you can reflect and remind those emotions out in the real world.
Through simple yet effective interior design changes such as decluttering or incorporating natural materials we can start to move towards creating an atmosphere conducive to achieving inner peace as well as increased wellbeing. Incorporating aspects of both zen living & feng shui allows us to find balance & harmony by not only focusing on minimalism and simplicity but also optimising positive energy flow throughout our spaces for greater overall wellbeing!
A zen interior can be many things for the mind, this includes better focus, a more holistic view of life, a slower pace of living that can reduce stress, better more restful sleep, and a greater appreciation for your possessions. If you find yourself craving these things, a zen interior can help you to harness these benefits. If you´re looking for inspiration, look towards neo-chinese interiors which focus heavily on zen aesthetics.