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Archive for June, 2010

sleepwalking

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Kasamori Osen Ippitsusai Buncho

Kasamori Osen Ippitsusai Buncho

SleepwalkingWhat causes it?

Sleepwalking is most common in children, who usually grow out of it.  It’s a psychological issue, and when it continues into adulthood there’s typically two factors involved. “There tends to be some sort of hereditary component – it runs in families to some extent.  And for people who are more susceptible to sleepwalking, times of stress bring it on,” says Professor Jim Horne, Director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University.

Zen Alarm Clock

Zen Alarm Clock

How to beat it
When sleepwalking, nobody talks – they just babble incoherently.  But in order to stifle your somnambulism, a long chat is the best medicine.  “Try to get at the underlying cause,” says Horne. “It’s a simple case of talking to someone close to you about what’s on your mind.  Just be matter-of-fact about it and take it from there.”  Still find yourself stalking the corridors by night? A ccording to a study in the Annals of Neurology, sleep deprivation significantly increases the number of sleepwalking episodes experienced by predisposed individuals.  Staying up past midnight stopped being cool long ago.  Get your eight hours in.

adapted from Men’s Health,  Ed Vanstone

Posted in Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Meditation Timers, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Sleep Habits


Correct Your Imbalance of hormones for an enhanced dream-time

Thursday, June 24th, 2010
moonviewing, sweet slumber

moonviewing, sweet slumber

We spend up to a third of our lives asleep.  Although some hard-driving people may view sleep as an inconvenience that curtails productivity and leisure activities, slumber is certainly no waste of time. In fact, sleep may play a more crucial role than diet or exercise in fostering optimal health.

A natural restorative, sleep offers an antidote to the damage done to our bodies during the day.  It allows the body to replenish its immune system, eliminate free radicals, and ward off heart disease and mood imbalances.  When sleep is disrupted—whether by lifestyle factors, insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, jet lag, sleepwalking, night terrors, imbalance of hormones, or some other disorder—emotional and physiological health suffers.  But you don’t have to accept sleep deprivation and the ills that accompany it.   One way to gently snooze your way back to health is to focus on balancing your hormones.

Balance your hormones
The word hormone comes from the Greek hormon, meaning “to stir up.”  Hormones are released by the various endocrine glands in the body in order to regulate energy production, growth, sexual development, stress responses, and many other functions.  Because minute quantities of hormones can “stir up” so many activities in the body, when they are thrown out of balance the results can affect the entire body.  Imbalances of Hormones often manifest as insomnia and other sleep problems.  Key factors that can upset hormone levels include thyroid dysfunctions, perimenopause and menopause (in fact, disturbed sleep is one of the complaints that cause women to seek treatment for menopause and perimenopause), and andropause (the male form of menopause).  Although hormone levels generally decline as a result of aging, they can also be affected by dietary choices, mineral deficiencies, environmental toxins and synthetic chemicals, medications, smoking, and stress.

Rather than artificially manipulating your estrogen levels with synthetic hormones and ignoring the reasons behind any imbalances of hormones, it is more valuable to determine why you have imbalances of hormones in the first place. Depending on the reason, restoring hormonal balance may be more effectively achieved with dietary changes, nutritional supplements, natural progesterone cream, herbal therapy, or traditional Chinese medicine tailored to the specific factors causing the imbalance of hormones.

Zen Clock with Chime for a progressive awakening to sweet a slumber

Zen Clock with Chime for a progressive awakening to sweet a slumber

Now  & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Excerpted from Alternative Medicine magazine’s Definitive Guide to Sleep Disorders: 7 Smart Ways to Help You Get a Good Night’s Rest (Celestial Arts, 2007)

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, mindfulness practice, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Sleep Habits


sleeping outdoors, under a roof of stars

Friday, June 18th, 2010

 

Garden of Kokedera Temple, Kyoto 1980, Tokuriki

Garden of Kokedera Temple, Kyoto 1980, Tokuriki

Almost everyone has a cherished memory of sleeping outdoors.  A roof of stars, a cricket lullaby, the cool air on your face, awakening to the calls of birds and the first rays of the sun.  It’s a welcome relief from the confines of a square room, stale indoor smells, and noisy appliances. 

One particular outdoor sleeping experience made me a believer.  A friend and I were camping in late summer at the edge of a meadow in an oak woodland.  We kept it simple: sleeping bags rolled out on a tarp. The first night I remember thinking, Is nature always this noisy?  How am I supposed to sleep?  To my city-numbed senses, it was all new: the low moan of the wind in the tree branches, the crunching footfall of small animals on dried leaves, the hoot of owls, the distant howl of coyotes.  And that moon—won’t somebody turn out the light?

But by the second night, the living world had woven me into its tapestry.  I fell asleep easily, held by the earth, stroked by sweet breezes, reassured by the rustling of life all around me.  When we broke camp a few days later, I felt like I was being torn from maternal arms.  All my cells, newly accustomed to a deep sense of homecoming, told me that something precious was being left behind.

We were made for this stuff.  Our ancestors were sleeping outdoors long before there were doors to sleep out of.  Our senses, our psyches, our biological clocks are attuned to the rhythms of the sun and moon and the sounds, smells, and feel of the living web.  When we sleep, we renew ourselves; there is no more important time to breathe clean, cool air and hear the thrumming of nature.

Teahouse at Daitokuji Temple, Kyoto by Tokuriki, 1977

Teahouse at Daitokuji Temple, Kyoto by Tokuriki, 1977

Try this at home

If you need a breath of fresh air tonight, you can start inexpensively: Pitch a tent in the yard or pull your bed onto the deck in fair weather. I f you enjoy the experience, you may want to build a permanent sleeping porch or pavilion with a table for your portable Bamboo Zen Alarm Clock.  Or you can alter an existing room to open up when the weather is pleasant; a wall of windows or doors that move aside can bring the outdoors to you.

adapted from Natural Home, July/August 2002 by Carol Venolia

Zen Alarm Clock, Ukiyo-e Hokusai Wave Dial Face

Zen Alarm Clock, Ukiyo-e Hokusai Wave Dial Face

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO 80302

Posted in Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, teahouse


Hypnos, Ancient Greek God of Sleep

Monday, June 14th, 2010
Zeus, disguised as a swan seduces Leda, the Queen of Sparta. A sixteenth century copy of the lost original by Michelangelo.

Zeus, disguised as a swan seduces Leda, the Queen of Sparta. A sixteenth century copy of the lost original by Michelangelo.

The ancient Greeks envisioned sleep as the minor god Hypnos, born of night, who lived on the island of Lemnos in a dark cave.  Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, flowed through this underworld where Hypnos lay on pillows surrounded by his many sons, including Morpheus, the dream bringer. 

Unlike his twin brother Thanatos, the god of death, Hypnos was considered a friend of mortals, a healer of body and mind.  He took different forms as he wandered the earth—a bird or a child, but most often a benevolent warrior carrying a horn, from which he would drip a sleep elixir. The Greeks apparently took his gifts for granted.  No cults arose to worship sleep, which seems odd, for surely there were ancient insomniacs.

adapted from Utne, January/February 1999 by Bill Hayes, from Speak

Dream Kanji Zen Alarm Clock with Chime in Dark Oak Finish

Dream Kanji Zen Alarm Clock with Chime in Dark Oak Finish, an alarm clock for insomniacs

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Sleep Habits


shakuhachi, a meditation practice

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
A shakuhachi flute, traditionally made of bamboo

A shakuhachi flute, traditionally made of bamboo

The shakuhachi, is a Japanese end-blown flute.  It is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist hardwoods.  It was used by the monks of the Fuke of Zen Buddhism in the practice of suizen, blowing meditation). 

Suizen is a Zen practice consisting of playing the shakuhachi bamboo flute as a means of attaining self-realization.  The monks from the Fuke sect of Zen who practiced suizen were called komusō (“emptiness monks”).

adapted from wikipedia.org

B Tone Digital Zen Alarm Clock in a Bamboo Finish

B Tone Digital Zen Alarm Clock in a Bamboo Finish

 

 

 

 

 

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, zen monks, Zen Timers


geido, the process of creation

Monday, June 7th, 2010
stillness of being

stillness of being

Geidō refers to the way of the traditional Japanese arts: Noh (theater), kadō (Japanese flower arrangement), shodō  (Japanese calligraphy), Sadō (Japanese tea ceremony), and yakimono (Japanese pottery).  All of these ways carry an ethical and aesthetic connotation and appreciate the process of creation.

To introduce discipline into their training, Japanese warriors followed the example of the arts that systematized practice through prescribed forms called kata – think of the tea ceremony.

adapted from wikipedia.org

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

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

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Meditation Tools, mindfulness practice, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Well-being, Yoga Timer, Yoga Timers by Now & Zen


Mizuta Masahide (1657-1723)

Sunday, June 6th, 2010
Full Moon Sumida River, Hiroshige Ukiyo-e

Full Moon Sumida River, Hiroshige Ukiyo-e

while I walk on
the moon keeps pace beside me
friend in the water

-Masahide-

 

Bamboo Digital Chime Clock, a meditation timer and alarm clock

Bamboo Digital Chime Clock, a meditation timer and alarm clock

 

 

 

 

 

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

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


butterfly

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Butterfly on Large Light Yellow Lilly, Kosan 1912

Butterfly on Large Light Yellow Lilly, Kosan 1912

 

 

The falling flower
I saw drift back to the branch
was a butterfly.
     
      –Arakida Moritake  (1473-1549)

 

Bamboo Digital Chime Clock, a meditation timer and alarm clock

Bamboo Digital Chime Clock, a meditation timer and alarm clock

 

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Japanese Poetry, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, mindfulness practice, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Zen Timers


japanese iris

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. #56. Irises at Horikirin, Hiroshige

One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. #56. Irises at Horikirin, Hiroshige

The term “Japanese iris” encompasses three varieties of irises cultivated in gardens or growing wild in Japan: hanashōbu, kakitsubata and ayame.

adapted from wikipedia.org

Timer for meditation by Now & Zen Inc.

Timer for meditation by Now & Zen Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl St.

Boulder, CO  80302

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