What is Zen + How you can achieve it in your home
Posted on 10 February 2017
Many people often ask me the same questions,
"What is Zen?"
"How do I achieve it?" and
"Is Zen Feng Shui?"
To put it simply, Zen is the stripping away of the excess in order to create peace of mind and obtain a profound sense of clarity, internally and externally. It is the practice of being mindful; where we become present not only within ourselves but within the spaces we inhabit. By de-cluttering the mind, opening the heart and surrounding ourselves with natural elements, our energy begins to expand, allowing us to reach a higher state of enlightenment.
Now doesn't that sound fabulous? Being surrounded by peace and tranquillity in your own personal space?
I can hear your minds ticking away thinking, "Yeah that sounds great but how do we attain this?"
Well I will tell you a little secret... It's called the 3 Marks of Existence.The 3 Marks are characteristics that Buddha taught the monks in order to reach a state of enlightenment. They are:
The Ego (yep you heard right!)
When we are approaching our interior spaces (this also applies to our internal emotional state) we have to accept that in order to overcome discomfort (for e.g. a bedroom that is filled with clutter and chaos), then we must recognise that change is inevitable in order to recreate our ideal environment. However, the only way to acknowledge change is by removing the ego. You know that annoying voice that is renting a space in your head telling you, "Whoa hold on, are you sure you want to change this? Do you really think that's a good idea?"
Tell that voice to zip it! You NEED this change in order to remove that blocked energy that has been holding you back for so long. Who would want to feel restricted and stifled in their own space? The answer is...No one!!
This leads me onto the third question and to answer it plainly, Zen is not Feng Shui. There is an underlying focus between Zen and Feng Shui as they both work to create positive energy within a space, which is also known as "Chi." However, the key difference between the two is that Feng Shui can be limiting as it is governed by a system of laws that determines spatial arrangements in order to deliver prosperity in all areas of one's life.
Zen masters believe that "Chi" can be created effortlessly when you seek a stripped-down, clutter-free approach to life, where less is more and space is central. There are no rules that determine orientation and placement. It is all about trust and being more in tune with your needs and desires. The home is sincere, it is where your ultimate truth and freedom can be found. Stay true to yourself and your environment will be a reflection of who you truly are.
This is Zen!
In the coming months and throughout the course of the year, I will uncover my secrets to achieving your perfect sanctuary at home whilst using key Zen principles. Yes you CAN do it on your own and I will be right with you every step of the way.
In order for you to be actively part of this journey, I will leave you with an exercise. This will lay the foundation for you to uncover who you truly are and what you want within your space.
1 - Buy yourself a lovely note book (any excuse to buy stationary I say).
2 - Sit somewhere quite and be mindful of your surroundings. Take 3 deep breaths then ask yourself:
"What is my favourite colour and Why?"
"What is my favourite room in my home and Why?"
"What is the most beautiful object I own and Why?" (This doesn't need to be an expensive item. Its value comes from the emotional attachment you have to it. What makes it special?)
Write all your answers and comments in your notebook and if you like share them in the comment section below. This will help you unravel any confusion you have inside and bring it to the foreground.
It is quite a cathartic and clarifying process.
I would love to hear your thoughts, and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask me below.
Good Luck and most of all Have Fun!
Julie is a Sydney based Interior Designer who's design philosophy is based on the Three Marks of Existence. Check out her work over at 3marks.com.au