Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Zazen Bear: An Oasis of Peace in Manhattan

Everyday life in this technology driven world with millions of stimuli we get everywhere we turn, I find it is hard to find the place and the time to feel peaceful. Zazen Bear, a new Zen retail concept store at 497 Broome Street in New York helps find the moment of inner peace. This is an interesting concept that I hope will come to Toronto.
Zazen Bear wants to offer a 360° experience that creates a path from Zen to shopping by providing a sense of sanctuary and harmony that allows exploring through scent, texture and visuals. It is a unique retail experience placed in a 2,400 sq. ft. store, where they have carefully crafted collection of products that range from jewellery to home furnishing. The two floors are connected by an open staircase and a harmonious live-plant vertical garden, where visitors are lead through the three interlocked circular rooms into a journey of discovery and sensory exploration. The lower level of the store is dedicated to yoga and meditation for everyone in search of a moment of quiet, but can also be used as a community center for art exhibits, events and screenings. Currently the lower level is hosting Zen and calligraphy paintings by Seiho.

The space is designed by Pierpaolo Martiradonna and Italian architect to connect all the elements of the space. The interiors have all natural materials such as the Pietra di Vals for the main floor, natural oil finished white oak for the yoga studio floor, hand painted white oak for all the custom millwork elements including the curved walls, and 3 types of plants for the vertical garden that require minimum light exposure to survive but act as air filter purifying the entire store.
Zazen Bear is inspired by the idea that everything and everybody is connected, so all the items in the store are carefully crafted to evoke a sense of harmony, relaxation and tranquility when touched, worn or used to decorate the home. The products incorporate precious materials like diamonds, sapphires, gold and silver in their jewelry collection. For example, the Connected Ring Series starting at $213.00 to $354.00 is designed to represent the connection of the mind and the universe where our inner self intersects with the world around us. The Zazen bear monogram earrings features the iconic bear that represents harmony and inner peace for prices starting at $118.00 to $306.00. The Posey Bracelets starting at $815.00 is designed as a reminder to seek Balance, Meditation and Calm. The Inner Stellar necklace embraces the constellation of stars that represents dreams and aspirations that starts at $538.00 to $931.00.

Zazen Bear has created a series of home d├ęcor objects and accessories that consumers can recreate in their homes or on the go to remind them to seek inner peace and harmony with pieces like the Zazen Bear Ceramic Figure for $27.00 that reminds to stop and breathe, Aromatherapy Candle made with essential oils and 100% organic soy wax for $64, and more.

Zazen Bear products have modern simplicity, and have an outward reflection of the Zen spirit that lives within us. I think it is wonderful to have a serene place like this where people can feel peace and tranquil, and forget the hustle and bustle of the day. I like that it is a gentle reminder that a balanced life is a gift we can give our self and others every day.

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