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Archive for the 'Beauty' Category

Ukiyo Floating World, a Buoyant World… Brought to You From The Zen Alarm Clock Store, Boulder, CO

Monday, December 10th, 2012
Utamaro Ukiyo-e, Two Ladies With Flowers

Utamaro Ukiyo-e, Two Ladies With Flowers

The “Floating World” described the urban lifestyle, especially the pleasure-seeking aspects, of the Edo-period Japan (1600 –1867).

The term is also an ironic allusion to the homophone (the same as another word but differs in meaning) “Sorrowful World”, the earthly plane of death and rebirth from which Buddhists sought release.

The contemporary novelist Asai Ryoi, in his Ukiyo monogatari (“Tales of the Floating World”, c. 1661), provides some insight into the concept of the floating world:

… Living only for the moment, turning our full attention to the pleasures of the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves; singing songs, drinking wine, diverting ourselves in just floating, floating; … refusing to be disheartened, like a gourd floating along with the river current: this is what we call the floating world…

Ukiyo floating world adapted from wikipedia.org

One of the ultimate Zen like experiences is waking-up from a great slumber refreshed and energized. Your mind and body are harmoniously one, both alert and focused. Having a refreshed mind and body are two keys to a natural and Zen lifestyle. Waking up in the morning should not be a loud and abrupt awakening, but rather it should be a peaceful positive experience.  The right natural alarm clock can transition your deep and tranquil sleep into a serene start to consciousness. Imagine a long-resonating Tibetan bell-like chime waking you up to a beautiful morning experience.

The right alarm clock can be the most beneficial investment for you. With our Now & Zen natural alarm clock you are awakened more gradually and thus more naturally. Now & Zen is focused on creating a naturalistic lifestyle, and our clocks are an example of our philosophy.

Zen Alarm Clock, Ukiyo-e Hokusai Wave Dial Face

Meditation Clock Timer- Zen Alarm Clock, Ukiyo-e Hokusai Wave Dial Face

Now & Zen – The Zen Alarm Clock Store

1638 Pearl St.

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Beauty, Cherry Blossoms, Chime Alarm Clocks, Hokusai Wave, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Zen Timers


How to Create a Stress-Free Life – With Our Now & Zen Natural Alarm Clock You Are Awakened More Gradually and Thus More Naturally

Sunday, November 11th, 2012
How to Create a Stress-Free Life

How to Create a Stress-Free Life

Kathleen Hall is one of the nation’s noted experts on stress management — she’s consoled Katrina survivors, counseled victims of domestic abuse, and advised families in hospitals coping with cancer and AIDS. But she didn’t always hold this title.

More than 20 years ago, Hall was a successful stockbroker on Wall Street, with a supportive husband and two healthy children. But the late nights, high-stakes pressure, and stressful commute wore at her over the years, until one day she snapped. She quit her job, retreated for six months to a remote cabin in Clarksville, Georgia, and spent the next seven years pursuing degrees in divinity and spirituality.

On her journey to a stress-free life, here’s what she learned.

Hall adopted a powerful but surprisingly simple mantra — SELF, an acronym for serenity, exercise, love, and food — and started teaching it to others to great effect. These “four roots of real happiness” may seem almost too easy, but she insists they have a centering effect in even the worst of circumstances.

Making time for serenity creates space in our lives for meditation and stress reduction; exercise benefits the spirit and mind as well as the body; love and friendship bring physiological and emotional rewards; and nourishing food, consciously consumed, feeds the senses in a deeply satisfying way.

It’s these simple things that keep us balanced, she says, and they make up Hall’s 10 secrets to a stress-free life.

One of the ultimate Zen like experiences is waking-up from a great slumber refreshed and energized. Your mind and body are harmoniously one, both alert and focused. Having a refreshed mind and body are two keys to a natural and Zen lifestyle. Waking up in the morning should not be a loud and abrupt awakening, but rather it should be a peaceful positive experience.  The right natural alarm clock can transition your deep and tranquil sleep into a serene start to consciousness. Imagine a long-resonating Tibetan bell-like chime waking you up to a beautiful morning experience.

The right alarm clock can be the most beneficial investment for you. With our Now & Zen natural alarm clock you are awakened more gradually and thus more naturally. Now & Zen is focused on creating a naturalistic lifestyle, and our clocks are an example of our philosophy.

adapted from Body + Soul Magazine

Natural Sounding Alarm Clocks and Meditation Timers, The Digital Zen Alarm Clock in Solid Walnut

Natural Sounding Alarm Clocks and Meditation Timers, The Digital Zen Alarm Clock in Solid Walnut

Now & Zen – The Zen Alarm Clock Store

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Beauty, Chime Alarm Clocks, intention, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, Natural Awakening, nature, wake up alarm clock, Well-being


Create a Sacred Space in Your Home – Make a Time and Space to Use Your Meditation Timer

Friday, October 12th, 2012
create a sacred place to be mindful

create a sacred place to be mindful

Is there a place in your home or yard where you can let go, relax, and renew your awareness of transcendent, loving oneness? It doesn’t take much to create such a place.

Your can create your healing retreat —a garden, a teahouse, a room—or you can claim one that already exists—a window seat, a rock by a stream. Your haven can be a balcony with potted plants and a wind chime, a hot tub surrounded by lavender, a bedroom where you have banished all distractions, or a comforter you roll up in like a cocoon. It needn’t even be a particular place; it can be an experience you recreate each time you need it, like a candlelight bubble bath with fresh flowers and Mozart.

There are no rules about how to create a personal haven, but consider incorporating some of these features (let your heart and your gut guide you):

• A gateway or marked entry to set it aside as sacred

• Privacy (freedom from interruptions and demands)

• A place to rest (a bed, hammock, comfortable stool)

• Calming colors

• Curved shapes

• Soft textures

create a sacred space in your house

create a sacred space in your house

• Plants

• Objects of beauty

• Simplicity, absence of clutter

• Soothing sounds (birdsong, moving water, music, wind chimes)

• Sunlight or soft, warm electric light

• Pleasing scents

• The four elements: air, earth (the ground, stones), water (in a bowl, fountain, or body of water), fire (sun, candles, a fire)

• A long vista, if there’s a pleasant one available

• Symbols of calm, transcendence, love, nourishment (hearts, stars, sun, moon, angels, personal treasures)

You deserve it

If you are like most people, the hardest part isn’t finding or creating a sanctuary; it’s believing that you deserve to spend time there. We tend to be so overwhelmed with demands that time taken away from meeting them feels like time wasted. We somehow learned that doing something just because it feels good is detrimental to others. Question these assumptions.

In fact, great inspiration, beautiful works of art, and profound love arise from the experience of unstructured time. In quiet, we can hear our muses and feel our passions. Here we can dream freely and drink from the deep well of our source. The peace we find carries into all our actions and relationships. What better gift can we give the world?

Although meditation can be done in almost any context, practitioners usually employ a quiet, tranquil space, a meditation cushion or bench, and some kind of timing device to time the meditation session.  Ideally, the more these accoutrements can be integrated the better.  Thus, it is conducive to a satisfying meditation practice to have a timer or clock that is tranquil and beautiful.  Using a kitchen timer or beeper watch is less than ideal.  And it was with these considerations in mind that we designed our digital Zen Alarm Clock and practice timer.  This unique “Zen Clock” features a long-resonating acoustic chime that brings the meditation session to a gradual close, preserving the environment of stillness while also acting as an effective time signal.

Bamboo Meditation Timers and Alarm Clocks

Bamboo Meditation Timers and Alarm Clocks


adapted from Natural Home Magazine, January/February2004 by Carol Venolia


interiors that create well-being

interiors that create well-being

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Beauty, Chime Alarm Clocks, intention, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, mindfulness practice, Well-being, Zen Timers


Zen Garden Ryoan-ji in Kyoto, Japan – Gongs & Chime Meditation Clocks

Sunday, August 12th, 2012
Ryoanji Zen Garden, Kyoto, Japan

Ryoanji Zen Garden, Kyoto, Japan

Steve McIntosh, Inventor of the Zen Clocks and Tehya (his wife) were most fortunate to visit the Ryoanji Zen Temple in Kyoto, Japan before their son, Peter McIntosh was born.  It was a most peaceful and memorable trip.  Below is a description of the ancient site:

Ryōan-ji is a Zen Temple located in northwest Kyoto, Japan.  The garden consists of raked gravel and fifteen moss-covered boulders, which are placed so that, when looking at the garden from any angle (other than from above) only fourteen of the boulders are visible at one time. It is traditionally said that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth boulder.

Ryōan-ji

Ryōan-ji

Japanese gardens are a living work of art in which the plants and trees are ever changing with the seasons.  As they grow and mature, they are constantly sculpted to maintain and enhance the overall experience; hence, a Japanese garden is never the same and never really finished. The underlying structure of a Japanese garden is determined by the architecture; that is, the framework of enduring elements such as buildings, verandas and terraces, paths, tsukiyama (artificial hills), and stone compositions. Over time, it is only as good as the careful maintenance that it receives by those skilled in the art of training and pruning. Part of the art is to keep the garden almost static, like a painting.

Ryōan-ji Temple Bell

Ryōan-ji Temple Bell

Now & Zen Headquarter Store
1638 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO  80302

Zen Timepiece Inspired by Ryoanji Temple Bell
Zen Timepiece Inspired by Ryōan-ji Temple Bell

The Zen Timepiece – a Gong Meditation Timer is the result of ten years of product evolution at Now & Zen, and we trust that you will find it a delight and a pleasure.  The Zen Timepiece’s greatest beauty is in its sound.

Once you take a moment to adjust the strike force and position of the bowl/gong to your liking, your ears will be treated to the lovely tones of the bowl’s long-resonating ring. We recommend you set the clock so that the bowl is sounded in the lower end of its range, because this is where it sounds the sweetest.

Gong & Chimes

Gong & Chimes

Now & Zen’s Gong and Chime Store
1638 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO  80302
(800) 779-6383

Posted in Beauty, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Truth, Zen Gardens, zen monks, Zen Timepiece by Now & Zen, Zen Timers


Like Organic Tomatoes in Your Salad, The Natural Sounds of the Zen Alarm Clock’s Sweet Acoustic Chimes are Truly a Gourmet Experience

Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Basket of Organic Fruit Ukiyo-e

Basket of Organic Fruit Ukiyo-e

The luxurious awakening provided by the Zen Alarm Clock is part of the growing preference for things natural—natural foods, natural fibers, and now, natural acoustic sounds.  Like organic tomatoes in your salad, the organic sounds of the Zen Alarm Clock’s sweet acoustic chimes are truly a gourmet experience.

And those who like organic food may also appreciate how the Zen Clock can be used as an aesthetically sophisticated timer for practices such as yoga or meditation.

Organic Sound of the Zen Alarm Clock's Chime is Acoustic

Organic Sound of the Zen Alarm Clock's Chime is Acoustic

Come by for a visit:

Now & Zen’s Natural Sounds Alarm Clock Store

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

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


Incessant Mechanical Bleating Alarm Clock Sounds Breaks Your Sweet Sleep

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Utamaro Kitagawa Ukiyo-e Print

Utamaro Kitagawa Ukiyo-e Print - Now & Zen, Inc., 1638 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302 (800) 779-6383

Incessant mechanical bleating breaks your sweet sleep, and the morning is spoiled before it has even begun.  Anyone who has relied on an alarm clock to get them out of bed can relate.  Thank Buddha, for this jangling sunrise ritual can be transcended.  Now &  Zen offers a soothing alternative with the gentle Zen Alarm Clock.

This line of solid maple and walnut clocks uses chimes that emulate Tibetan bells to gently and gradually awaken users over a period of ten minutes.  The chimes can also be used for meditation and yoga.   To practice zen and the art of waking up, visit Now & Zen’s Headquarter Store in Boulder, Colorado.

Excerpt from Attache Magazine (October 2002) – US Airways by Kelly Cunningham

Now & Zen’s Chime Alarm Clock Store

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302


Solid maple and walnut clocks use chimes to emulate Tibetan bells to wake you

Solid maple and walnut clocks use chimes to emulate Tibetan bells to wake you

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


Lazy Summer- Haiku From The Zen Alarm Clock Store

Monday, June 11th, 2012
Butterflies Plate #21, Natural History of Britain

Butterflies Plate #21, Natural History of Britain

on the patio

the afternoon drifts along

with the butterfly.

– Patricia J. Machmiller

Maple Dream Kanji Zen Alarm Clock, progressive chime alarm clock

Maple Dream Kanji Zen Alarm Clock, progressive chime alarm clock

Now & Zen – The Zen Alarm Clock Store

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

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


Go Ahead-Yawn!

Sunday, June 10th, 2012
it's okay to yawn

it's okay to yawn

Afraid to risk rudeness and let out a hearty yawn? Well, here’s an excuse to give Miss Manners a hissy fit: According to neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, MD, director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania, yawning is one of the best-kept health secrets. “If you want to maintain an optimum healthy brain, it is essential that you yawn,” says Newberg. The action stimulates neural movement in certain areas of the mind and regulates brain temperature and metabolism—all of which can increase muscle control, enhance sensuality, and even ward off jet lag. Newberg suggests yawning 10 times in a row every day, along with your regular workout or wellness routine. A nightly yawning ritual can help you:

Chill out. Newberg says a good yawn can relax you more effectively than meditation. “More than simply calming the body, yawning brings the mind into a heightened state of cognitive functioning.”

Stay focused. “Yawning rids the brain of sleepiness, helping you keep your attention on important ideas and concepts,” says Newberg. So why do we start yawning before we hit the sack? Because it also helps regulate our internal clock: When we’re tired, yawning signals sleep.  No need to set your Zen Alarm Clock for bedtime quite yet.

Be more compassionate. Studies show yawning stimulates the part of the brain responsible for generating empathy and social awareness. So intentional yawning may actually strengthen our ability to be kind to others.

adapted from Natural Solutions Magazine, October 2009 by Danielle Winston

Digital Zen Alarm Clock

Digital Zen Alarm Clock

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Beauty, intention, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Sleep Habits, Well-being


Mind-Body Therapies Help Your Heart, Use Your Meditation Timer to Reduce Stress

Thursday, March 29th, 2012
mind-body therapies help your heart

mind-body therapies help your heart

Research shows that the stress-inflammation cycle is as detrimental to your heart as a plate full of the cheesiest fettuccine Alfredo. “Stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, cause the arteries to constrict, which results in a rise in blood pressure and decrease in blood flow,” Moyad explains. Less blood flow means less oxygen circulating through the body to combat free radicals—unstable cells that can damage healthy tissues. “We know now that bad LDL cholesterol only becomes threatening when levels get so high that it binds with free radicals,” Moyad says. When this happens, LDL changes structure and gets absorbed by the arterial walls’ lining, resulting in plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis. Such tissue damage causes the immune system to go into overdrive, triggering inflammation. Reduce your risk with effective mind-body therapies like meditation, yoga, exercise or massage.

The Digital Zen Clock & Meditation Timer serves as a countdown and interval timer for yoga, meditation, bodywork, etc.; and it can also be set to chime on the hour as a tool for “mindfulness.”

adapted from Natural Solutions Magazine, January 2010 by Kate Hanley

bamboo meditation timer and natural alarm clock with gentle chime

bamboo meditation timer and natural alarm clock with gentle chime

Now & Zen’s Clock and Meditation Timer Shop

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Beauty, Chime Alarm Clocks, intention, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, mindfulness practice, Natural Awakening, nature, Well-being, yoga, Yoga Timer, Yoga Timers by Now & Zen, Zen Timers


Thoughts on Giving During the Holidays

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Snow at Itsukushima by Watanabe Shozaburo

Snow at Itsukushima by Watanabe Shozaburo

1.  Power

Giving to others is the most powerful thing we can do for ourselves.

2. Honor

Approach gift shopping as an opportunity to honor the people you really love.

3.  Strength

Share your strengths — and be open to others’ gifts.

4.  Need

Help others because they need it, not because you need to provide it.

5.  Kindness

Kindness is in our nature; practice giving and receiving it freely.

6.  Discovery

Teach what you know, and you’ll discover what you’re ready to learn.

7.  Presence

Simply being present is often the most valuable gift you can give.

8.  Abundance

Contribute to abundance: If you no longer need something, pass it on.

9.  Contribution

Give yourself time to consider what you most want to contribute to the world.

10.  Welcome

The right gifts are just as welcome in simple packages.

adapted from Body + Soul Magazine, 2009

Natural Chime Alarm Clocks and Timers

Natural Chime Alarm Clocks and Timers

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Steet

Boulder, CO  80302

 

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Beauty, intention, mindfulness practice


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