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Archive for the 'Ukiyo-e' Category

Nap Your Way to Creativity – Set Your Zen Alarm Clock for a Nap Each Day

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Shinsui Itō, Before a Mirror (1916) Ukiyo-e

Shinsui Itō, Before a Mirror (1916) Ukiyo-e

People in need of a creative boost should take a long nap, according to new research highlighted by ScienCentral. The researchers found that naps increase people’s ability to solve problems creatively, but only if the nap includes REM, the deep sleep when dreams occur. REM sleep happens only after about an hour of sleeping, so a long nap is recommended. According to researcher Sara Mednick, “if you take a nap with REM sleep, you’re actually going to be boosting your ability to make these new associations in creative ways.” Mednick has tried to put her findings to good use by taking a nap at least three times each week.  A good way to peacefully end your nap is to use your Zen Alarm Clock with progressive chimes.

adapted from Utne.com by Bennett Gordon, September 2009

Zen Alarm Clock in Maple Finish with Maple Leaves Dial Face and Chime

Zen Alarm Clock in Maple Finish with Maple Leaves Dial Face and Chime

Now & Zen – The Zen Alarm Clock Store

Set Your Gentle, Chime Alarm Clock -- The Zen Alarm Clock Shop

Set Your Gentle, Chime Alarm Clock -- The Zen Alarm Clock Shop

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, mindfulness practice, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Sleep Habits, Ukiyo-e, Well-being


To Dream, Perchance to Remember – Set Your Chime Alarm Clock to Help with Dream Recall

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
Choki Eishosai, Sunrise at New Year

Choki Eishosai, Sunrise at New Year

It’s hard to learn from your dreams if you can’t remember them. But even if you draw a blank every morning, don’t fret. Follow these steps, recommended by Deirdre Barrett, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, and Andrew Holecek, a dream workshop teacher at Colorado’s Shambhala Mountain Center, to enhance your dream recall.

  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. The more you sleep, the more dreams you will have, increasing the likelihood you’ll remember one of them.
  • Throughout the day and right before you fall asleep, remind yourself of your intention to remember your dreams.
  • Keep a pen and paper by your bed. A dream journal can encourage recall and, at the very least, help you document any fragment you do remember upon waking.
  • When you first wake up, don’t move. Lie quietly and reflect on any image that comes to mind. Sometimes a whole dream scenario will come back to you.
  • Be mindful during the day, not just about dreams but about everything going on around you. The lucidity you cultivate in waking life will translate to your dream life.
  • Set the Zen Alarm Clock to wake you every two hours throughout the night. When the chimming alarm sounds, write down as much as you can remember about the dream you were just having.

Boulder, Colorado—an innovative company has taken one of life’s most unpleasant experiences (being startled awake by your alarm clock early Monday morning), and transformed it into something to actually look forward to. “The Zen Alarm Clock,” uses soothing acoustic chimes that awaken users gently and gradually, making waking up a real pleasure.  Rather than an artificial recorded sound played through a speaker, the Zen Clock features an alloy chime bar similar to a wind chime.  When the clock’s alarm is triggered, its chime produces a long-resonating, beautiful acoustic tone reminiscent of a temple gong.  Then, as the ring tone gradually fades away, the clock remains silent until it automatically strikes again three minutes later.  The frequency of the chime strikes gradually increase over ten-minutes, eventually striking every five seconds, so they are guaranteed to wake up even the heaviest sleeper.  This gentle, ten-minute “progressive awakening” leaves users feeling less groggy, and even helps with dream recall.

Now & Zen’s Chime Alarm Clock Store

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Zen Timepiece, an alarm clock to wake you from napping with Tibetan bowl/gong

Zen Timepiece, an alarm clock to wake you from napping with Tibetan bowl/gong

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, mindfulness practice, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Sleep Habits, Ukiyo-e, Well-being, Zen Clocks and Dream Recall


Acupuncture Puts Insomnia to Sleep – Snooze News From The Zen Alarm Clock Store

Friday, September 21st, 2012
Koitsu,  Full Moon at Akashi Beach

Koitsu, Full Moon at Akashi Beach

Warm milk, chamomile tea, curling up with The Poetry of Zen—all useful strategies in the battle to beat insomnia. You might want to add auricular, or ear, acupuncture to the arsenal.  A review of six trials in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that stimulating certain acupuncture points around the ear could put your insomnia to sleep.  Six points were deemed the most effective: shenmen, heart, occiput, subcortex, brain, and kidney.

Hong Kong Baptist University researchers noted acupuncture’s rate of success was high both when compared to a placebo and to sleep medications and anti-anxiety drugs.  How auricular acupuncture works is still being explored, but initial studies indicate it increases melatonin, the sleepy-time hormone.

Our Zen Alarm Clock’s long-resonating Tibetan bell-like chime makes waking up a beautiful experience – its progressive chimes begin your day with grace. When the clock’s alarm is triggered, the acoustic chime bar is struck just once … 3-1/2 minutes later it strikes again … chime strikes become more frequent over 10 minutes … eventually striking every 5 seconds until shut off. As they become more frequent, the gentle chimes will always wake you up – your body really doesn’t need to be awakened harshly, with a Zen Clock you’re awakened more gradually and thus more naturally.  Unlike artificial recorded sounds coming out of a tiny speaker in a plastic box, natural acoustic sounds transform your bedroom or office environment.

adapted from Natural Solutions,January 2008 By Matthew Solan

Dream Kanji Zen Alarm Clock with chime in Dark Oak Finish, a wellness tool for insomnia

Dream Kanji Zen Alarm Clock with chime in Dark Oak Finish, a wellness tool for insomnia

Now & Zen’s Chime Alarm Clock Store

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Sleep Habits, Ukiyo-e


Now & Zen’s Daily Haiku: peonies

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Peonies at Hyakken, #18 from the series 'Tōkyō Meisho Sanjurokkasen, Utagawa Shigenobu (1826 - 1869)

Peonies at Hyakken, #18 from the series 'Tōkyō Meisho Sanjurokkasen, Utagawa Shigenobu (1826 - 1869)

The bee emerging

from deep within the peony

departs reluctantly.

-Basho-

maple meditation timer and chime alarm clock called The Zen Alarm Clock, digital style in maple

maple meditation timer and chime alarm clock called The Zen Alarm Clock, digital style in maple

Now & Zen’s Chime

Alarm Clock &

Meditation Timer Store

1638 Pearl St.

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, Well-being, Zen Timers


Sleep Better Tonight – Choose a Better, Soothing Alarm Clock

Saturday, August 25th, 2012
rest and relaxation

rest and relaxation

You know a little too well what your kitchen looks like at 3 a.m. You’ve memorized the light patterns on your bedroom ceiling,  counted thousands of sheep, and watched your Zen Alarm Clock for countless hours. And you’ve come to expect the thump of the newspaper at the front door a few minutes after 5.

If this sounds familiar, you’re in good company: Sixty-seven percent of American women surveyed in last year’s National Sleep Foundation poll said they regularly have trouble sleeping. Many of the culprits are hallmarks of our current culture: long work hours, stress, sugar-laden cappuccinos, wanting to fit too much into one day. Several recent reports, including a study published in Social Science & Medicine titled “Is Sleep Really for Sissies?,” have suggested that we value what we do during the day much more than what goes on at night.

But good sleep isn’t something we can afford to take off our to-do list. Like a nutritious diet and exercise, sleep is a foundation for health — not to mention sanity.

“It’s a bedrock,” says Paul Glovinsky, Ph.D., coauthor of “The Insomnia Answer.” As anyone with sleep trouble knows, a single bad night can hamper productivity, memory, even basic conversation skills. But it’s over time that insomnia really takes its toll. “We’ve seen that, in all kinds of ways, deficits accrue when you don’t sleep.”

Bamboo Digital Chime Clock, for a progressive awakening

Bamboo Digital Chime Clock, for a progressive awakening

Poor sleep may set you up for heart problems, for instance, plus lowered immunity, depression, diabetes, obesity, and chronic pain. One study actually proved that sleep deprivation can damage our mood in a very real way: Compared with those of rested people, the emotional centers of the brain in sleep-deprived people were 60 percent more reactive to negative experiences.

So what’s a droopy-eyed, overcaffeinated, dream-deficient woman to do? Committing to good sleep hygiene is a start. But it also pays to identify your unique sleep profile. There’s no single insomnia pattern; there are many. And delving into the details of yours can help you overcome it.

We went to several sleep experts with some common sleep types, like the person who can’t stop thinking, the one who wakes up at odd times, and the one who keeps finding excuses to push off bedtime (Really? Another episode of “House Hunters?”).

As it turns out, these patterns often have distinct causes and solutions. Don’t be surprised if more than one profile rings true; your patterns may fluctuate. The key is to give some serious thought to your sleep life.  Use The Zen Timepiece with the Bowl /Gong to waken you.  Try turing it around so that the digital display doesn’t show.  The quality of your waking life — not to mention your health — depends on it.

Boulder, Colorado—an innovative company has taken one of life’s most unpleasant experiences (being startled awake by your alarm clock early Monday morning), and transformed it into something to actually look forward to. “The Zen Alarm Clock,” uses soothing acoustic chimes that awaken users gently and gradually, making waking up a real pleasure.

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.

What makes this gentle awakening experience so exquisite is the sound of the natural acoustic chime, which has been tuned to produce the same tones as the tuning forks used by musical therapists. According to the product’s inventor, Steve McIntosh, “once you experience this way of being gradually awakened with beautiful acoustic tones, no other alarm clock will ever do.”

Adapted from Body + Soul Magazine, May 2008 by Sarah Schmelling

Zen Alarm Clock for a Gentle Awakening with a Bowl Gong and Mindfulness Timer

Zen Alarm Clock for a Gentle Awakening with a Bowl Gong and Mindfulness Timer

Now & Zen’s Alarm Clock Shop

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Sleep Habits, Ukiyo-e, wabi-sabi, Well-being, Zen Timepiece by Now & Zen, Zen Timers


Meditation and Attention Span – Set Your Mindfulness Clock & Timer with Chime

Friday, August 24th, 2012
Toyohara, Kunichika, 1835-1900 Saruwaka-cho Kogiku

Toyohara, Kunichika, 1835-1900 Saruwaka-cho Kogiku

Too frazzled to focus at work? Meditation may help hone your attention — even if you’re new to the practice. In a University of Pennsylvania study, a group of 17 beginners showed great improvements in focus after meditating for a half-hour, five times a week for eight weeks. Regular meditation also enhanced their ability to manage tasks and stay alert while working.

To ease into a practice, find a quiet place every day, set your Zen Meditation Timer and simply focus on following your breath. “Even if you’re doing five minutes, three times a day, it can help a lot in getting your body accustomed to slowing down,” says Vandita Kate Marchesiello, director of the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association. For more guidance, she recommends picking up a meditation book, CD, or DVD, or attending a local class.

Our Mindfulness Clock & Timer, called The Zen Clock  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 Body + Soul, October 2007

Black Lacquer Zen Alarm Clock and Meditation Timer

Black Lacquer Zen Alarm Clock and Meditation Timer

Now & Zen’s Mindfulness Clocks and Timer Store

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, intention, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, mindfulness practice, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Ukiyo-e, Well-being


Sweet Slumber: Create a Wind-down Period Before Bedtime with Your Chime Timer

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Utamaro Kitagawa, Bijin Combing Her Hair, 1750-1806

Utamaro Kitagawa, Bijin Combing Her Hair, 1750-1806

The key to create a wind-down period before bedtime is to create some space between your busy day and sleep time.  “You can’t just work until 9 at night, and then stick your head on the pillow and fall asleep,”  Khalsa says.  So turn off the television, computer, and radio.  Cut down on or eliminate evening classes and exercise that leaves you feeling amped up.
When you come home, honor this transition by playing relaxing music, lighting candles, or putting on your favorite pajamas and set your Zen Alarm Clock.  Think of the yoga precept of pratyahara: Withdraw your senses in order to turn inward.
Our 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.

adapted from yogajournal.com ‘Sweet Slumber’ by Nora Isaacs

Zen Alarm Clock for a Gentle Awakening with a Bowl Gong

Zen Alarm Clock for a Gentle Awakening with a Bowl Gong

Now & Zen’s Chime Timer
1638 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, mindfulness practice, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Sleep Habits, Ukiyo-e, Well-being, Zen Timepiece by Now & Zen, Zen Timers


Dreaming Up Creative Solutions – Snooze News From The Zen Alarm Clock Shop

Monday, May 7th, 2012
Katsushika Hokusai Ukiyo-e, Japanese Iris

Katsushika Hokusai Ukiyo-e, Japanese Iris

There’s a good reason that people say you should “sleep on it” when facing a tough problem—it helps! A new study suggests dreaming is beneficial for problem solving. Psychology Today reports, “In REM sleep, cortical activation spreads from whatever one’s been pondering to marshal associated ideas, thanks to changes in levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and acetylcholine.” Jasper Johns, Jack Nicklaus and many others have credited their dreams for successful ideas. A co-author of the study adds: “So many times, we already have the solution somewhere in our brain. It just needs an extra ‘boost’ before it can be accessed.”

adapted from Psychology Today by Elizabeth Ryan, October 2009

Zen Alarm Clock

Zen Alarm Clock

Now & Zen’s Alarm Clock Headquarter Store

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Bamboo Chime Clocks, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Sleep Habits, Ukiyo-e, Well-being


Wake-up Chime Alarm Clock Can Help Remember Your Dreams

Saturday, March 10th, 2012
Snow print by Suzuki Harunobu

Snow print by Suzuki Harunobu

It’s snowing heavily, and everyone in the backyard is in a swimsuit, at some kind of party: Mom, Dad, the high school principal, there’s even an ex-girlfriend.  And is that Elvis, over by the piñata?

Uh-oh.

Dreams are so rich and have such an authentic feeling that scientists have long assumed they must have a crucial psychological purpose.  To Freud, when dreaming provided a playground for the unconscious mind; to Jung, it was a stage where the psyche’s archetypes acted out primal themes.  Newer theories hold that dreams help the brain to consolidate emotional memories or to work though current problems, like divorce and work frustrations.

Yet what if when dreaming isn’t psychological at all?

In a paper published last month in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Dr. J. Allan Hobson, a psychiatrist and longtime sleep researcher at Harvard, argues that the main function of rapid-eye-movement sleep, or REM, when dreaming occurs, is physiological. The brain is warming its circuits, anticipating the sights and sounds and emotions of waking.

“It helps explain a lot of things, like why people forget so many dreams,” Dr. Hobson said in an interview. “It’s like jogging; the body doesn’t remember every step, but it knows it has exercised. It has been tuned up. It’s the same idea here: dreams are tuning the mind for conscious awareness.”

Drawing on work of his own and others, Dr. Hobson argues that when dreaming is a parallel state of consciousness that is continually running but normally suppressed during waking. The idea is a prominent example of how neuroscience is altering assumptions about everyday (or every-night) brain functions.

adapted from The New York Times, November 2009 by Benedict Carey

Honey Japanese Maple Leaves Zen Alarm Clock, calming alarm clock useful for remembering one's dreams

Honey Japanese Maple Leaves Zen Alarm Clock, calming alarm clock useful for remembering one's dreams

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

Posted in Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, Progressive Awakening, Sleep Habits, Ukiyo-e, Zen Clocks and Dream Recall


Wake-up in Mother Nature’s Living Room

Friday, October 1st, 2010
 
 

Kofukuji Temple, Nara Yokoi

Kofukuji Temple, Nara Yokoi

Outdoor rooms, porches, and pavilions let you come home again to the natural world. Let nature’s elements be your palette and sensory delight your touchstone.

Imagine waking up on a summer morning to a gentle breeze on your face, the chattering of birds, and the scent of flowers opening their petals to the dawn. You lie there, warm under your wool comforter, recalling the bliss of falling asleep with frogs croaking in the nearby pond as you gazed at the stars before closing your eyes. All this, yet indoor plumbing is only a few yards away. This is the joy of outdoor living spaces.

Outdoor rooms, porches, and pavilions are back in style. Tired of being cooped up, people are moving their dining, socializing, sleeping, and sometimes even work spaces outdoors. The success of these spaces depends a lot on understanding some basics about climate and design. If you want your investment in outdoor living to pay off, you’ll want a place that’s comfortable in a range of weather conditions.

Our ancestors, who lived without central heating and cooling, knew a lot about building sleeping porches, gazebos, and summer kitchens. These structures allowed them to escape their hot, stuffy houses in summer. After decades of burning fossil fuels with wild abandon to keep us warm in winter and cool in summer, we’re beginning to realize that these people were on to something. Well-designed outdoor rooms are the epitome of ecological design; they get their heat and light from the sun and their cooling from shade and breezes.

In fact, creating an outdoor space for your home is a great way to increase your grasp of climate-responsive design. It’s an exercise in paying attention to the ecosystems you participate in. By noticing where the prevailing winds come from, and by being aware of the sun’s path across the sky, you can create a garden room that keeps you dry in the rain, unruffled by the wind, cool in summer, and warm in all but the worst of winter without burning a drop of fuel.

Outdoor structures can also expand your home’s living space for much less expense than adding a normal room. And an attached outdoor room can increase your home’s energy efficiency by protecting it from heat, cold, and wind, or even—in the case of a sunspace—by collecting solar heat to be used indoors.

But that’s only the beginning. Outdoor living is also good for your health and well-being. Sunlight, fresh air, and greenery nourish body and soul. The sounds of birds by day and crickets by night, the scent of flowers, the feeling of warm sun and cool breezes on our skin, and the sight of birds, butterflies, and bees nourish our senses and restore our participation in the web of life.

mother nature's living spaces

mother nature's living spaces

Try this at home

If you have even a little bit of outdoor space around your home, you can enjoy these delights, too. Start by sitting in different parts of your yard. Notice which areas are sunny, shady, calm, windy, private, exposed, moist, or dry. Notice which spots have nice views, near or far. Think about access: Do you want to walk easily from your indoor kitchen to an outdoor dining room? From a sleeping porch to the bathroom?

When you select a place for an outdoor room, pay attention to how the natural elements interact with this spot, how they vary with the time of day and season, and which elements you’d like to temper for your comfort. Let’s say you want to build a pavilion in a corner of your backyard, but the prevailing wind comes from the northwest—which is exactly the direction of your favorite view. A glass wall on the northwest side will meet both your needs. Or maybe you want to create a warm spot for chilly evenings. You can build a curved stone wall that defines the space, blocks the breeze, and faces south to soak up the sun; build a stone bench against the wall, and you’ll have a toasty spot for relaxing at the day’s end. Overhead shade will make the same spot comfortably cool in summer.

Finally, consider having flexible elements that extend the usefulness of your outdoor space. Add removable glass to a screened porch to turn it into a sunroom in winter. Use heavy curtains in your pavilion to block breezes, rain, or prying eyes. Hang a seasonal cloth roof over a patio, or grow a deciduous vine on a trellis or arbor.

adapted from Natural Home Magazine, July/August 2004

Japanese Maple Leaves Dial Face, Zen Wake-up Alarm Clock

Japanese Maple Leaves Dial Face, Zen Wake-up Alarm Clock

Now & Zen

1638 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO  80302

(800) 779-6383

Posted in Cherry Blossoms, Chime Alarm Clocks, Japanese Inspired Zen Clocks, Natural Awakening, Now & Zen Alarm Clocks, sleep, Sleep Habits, Ukiyo-e, wake up alarm clock


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