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Archive for April, 2010

history of japanese gardens

Sunday, April 25th, 2010
Kamedo Tenjin Shrine: drum bridge in the garden, Hiroshige ukiyo-e

Kamedo Tenjin Shrine: drum bridge in the garden, Hiroshige ukiyo-e

During the Asuka period (538-710), gardens were supposed to express Buddhism and Taoism through replicating the mountainous regions in China.

During the Heian period (794-1185), gardens shifted from solely representing religious beliefs to becoming, “a place for ceremonies, amusement, and contemplation” (Miller).

peter in a japanese garden

peter in a japanese garden

In the Kamakura and Muromachi periods (1185-1573), a great many gardens were created during these two time periods due to improved garden techniques and the development of Syoinzukuri style.  Zen beliefs were also flourishing at this time and had great influences over garden techniques and purposes.  Another factor that allowed gardens to flourish stems from the fact that the shoguns simply enjoyed gardens.

After the Muromachi Period, Japanese tea ceremonies became an intricate part of Japanese culture.  Sen no Rikyu (1517-1591) created the traditional style of a tea house where there was usually a roji (“dewy path”) leading to the house.  Besides the tea houses, gardens constructed in the Edo period (1603-1868) reflected the tastes and style of each individual shogun ruler.  Instead of being a religious symbol, gardens shifted to being a symbol of a shogun’s prestige and power (Miller).

adapted from wikipedia.org

Zen Clocks by Now & Zen

Zen Clocks by Now & Zen

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Zen Gardens, Zen Timers


chaniwa gardens

Saturday, April 24th, 2010
A kaiyu-shiki or strolling garden

A kaiyu-shiki or strolling garden

Chaniwa Gardens are built for holding tea ceremonies.  There is usually a tea house where the ceremonies occur, and the styles of both the hut and garden are based on the simple concepts of the sado. 

Usually, there are stepping stones leading to the tea house, stone lanterns, and stone basins (tsukubai) where guests purify themselves before a ceremony.

tsukubai

tsukubai

Japanese gardens might also fall into one of these styles:

  • Kanshoh-style gardens which are viewed from a residence.
  • Pond gardens, for viewing from a boat.
  • Strolling gardens (kaiyū-shiki), for viewing a sequence of effects from a path which circumnavigates the garden.

adapted from wikipedia.org

Bamboo yoga and meditation timer, designed especially for meditation practitioners

Bamboo yoga and meditation timer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Zen Timepiece by Now & Zen, Zen Timers, mindfulness practice


tsukiyama gardens

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
Hagiwara Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, California, showing the use of stone, water and plants

Hagiwara Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, California, showing the use of stone, water and plants

Tsukiyama Gardens often copy famous landscapes from China or Japan, and they commonly strive to make a smaller garden appear more spacious. 

This is accomplished by utilizing shrubs to block views of surrounding buildings, and the garden’s structure usually tries to make onlookers focus on nearby mountains in the distance.  By doing this, it seems that the garden has the mountains as part of its grounds.  Ponds, streams, hills, stones, trees, flowers, bridges, and paths are also used frequently in this style.

adapted from wikipedia.org

Zen Timer for meditation by Now & Zen Inc.

Zen Timer for meditation by Now & Zen Inc.

 

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Beauty, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Zen Gardens, Zen Timepiece by Now & Zen, Zen Timers


torii

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
torii gate, Meiji-jingu Shrine, Japan

torii gate, Meiji-jingu Shrine, Japan

A torii is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the sacred to the profane.  The presence of a torii at the entrance is usually the simplest way to identify Shinto shrines, and a small torii icon represents them on Japanese road maps. They are however a common sight at Japanese Buddhist temples too, where they stand at the entrance of the temple’s own shrine, called chinjusha and usually very small.

adapted from wikipedia.org

Bamboo Zen Timers, a meditation tool

Bamboo Zen Timers, a meditation tool

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Yoga Timer, Zen Timers


tranquillity by a water garden

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
water gardens, a mindfulness practice

creating water gardens, a mindfulness practice

One mindfulness practice we enjoy is to create a water garden.  It can be calming to find rocks and create a special space for meditation.   

Finding a good placement of rocks is similar to arranging a Zen garden or Japanese rock garden.   Well-done, intuitive placement of rocks can stimulate a feeling of peace or Zen while also achieving a practical effect.

Bamboo Zen Clock, a meditation timer

Bamboo Zen Clock, a meditation timer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, Well-being, Yoga Timer, Zen Gardens, Zen Timers, mindfulness practice


calm the mind

Monday, April 19th, 2010
calm the mind, zen timers by Now & Zen, Boulder, CO

calm the mind, zen timers by Now & Zen, Boulder, CO

In Medtitation everyone most likely experiences two of the five hindrances.  They are boredom, which is half-hearted action with little or no collectedness and restlessness-worry, which is the inability to calm the mind. 

The first three enlightment factors (mindfulness, investigation, energy) are to be used when experiencing boredom to regain collection, the last three enlightment factors (tranquillity, collection, equanimity) are to be used when experiencing restlessness and worry to regain collectedness.

adapted from wikipedia.org

Bamboo Zen Timers, a meditation tool

Bamboo Zen Timers, a meditation tool

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Yoga Timer, Yoga Timers by Now & Zen, mindfulness practice


chrysanthemum with sixteen petals

Saturday, April 17th, 2010
Chrysanthemum Flower

Chrysanthemum Flower

The Imperial Seal of Japan is a crest used by members of the Japanese Imperial family.  The Emperor of Japan, used a 16 petal chrysanthemum with sixteen tips of another row of petals showing behind the first row.

Shinto shrines either displayed the imperial seal or incorporated elements of the seal into their own emblems.

Shinto is the natural spirituality of Japan and the Japanese people.  The word Shinto (“Way of the Gods”) was adopted from the written Chinese combining two kanji: “shin“ meaning gods or spirits (originally from the Chinese  word shen); and ““, or “do” meaning a philosophical path or study (originally from the Chinese word tao).

Modern Shinto does have a central theological authority but no singular Theocracy.

Zen Timepiece, a bowl/gong alarm clock and timer in cherry finish

Zen Timepiece, a bowl/gong alarm clock and timer in cherry finish

adapted from wikipedia.org

 

 

 

Now & Zen Headquarter Store

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Chime Alarm Clocks, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks


Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, April 16th, 2010
cherry blossoms

cherry blossoms

 

 

What a strange thing!

to be alive

beneath cherry blossoms.

                                            -Issa-

maple zen timer for meditation and yoga

maple zen timer for meditation and yoga

 

 

 

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Cherry Blossoms, Chime Alarm Clocks, Well-being, Yoga Timer, Zen Clocks and Dream Recall, Zen Timers


culinary uses of chrysanthemum flowers

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
chrysanthemum

chrysanthemum

Yellow or white dried chrysanthemum flowers are boiled to make a sweet drink in some parts of Asia.  The resulting beverage is known simply as “chrysanthemum tea”. 

Chrysanthemum tea has many medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza.

adapted from wikipedia.org

 
 
 
 

Bamboo Zen Timers

Bamboo Zen Timers

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl St.

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Zen Timepiece by Now & Zen


chrysanthemums flowers

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

chrysanthemums on obi

chrysanthemums on obi

Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, are a genus (Chrysanthemum) of about 30 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Asia and northeastern Europe.

The flower was introduced into Japan probably in the 8th century AD, and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal.  There is a “Festival of Happiness” in Japan that celebrates the flower.

adapted from wikipedia.org

official seal of Japan  - Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum Crest - The gate of Yasukuni shrine

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl St.

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, mindfulness practice


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