With the summer heat hitting Sydney hard and with the city’s iconic neon lights being turned on to promote the annual summertime rave season, some are trying to recapture the fun that zen is all about.
The Sydney Zest Salon is an outdoor space in the heart of the CBD.
Its walls and ceilings are decorated with a mix of geometric patterns and colourful prints.
Zest Salon co-owner and co-founder Joanne Waddell says the spaces is the result of a desire to recreate the zest of summer, while at the same time it gives guests a space to enjoy some of the more unique and creative ways to create their own spa.
“The most memorable things we’ve done have been to do it indoors,” she said.
“We’re all about the zesty, the zingy, the whimsical, the funky, the colourful.”
I don’t think it’s anything like a spa, it’s a way of enjoying and reflecting on life, and a lot of the things you see in zen do the same thing.
“Zest Spa is the brainchild of former Sydney resident, artist and zen practitioner, Joanne.”
For me it was the perfect combination of the two,” she says.”
When I was doing my first zen retreat and started practising I was really inspired by the zazen of ancient China.
“It was about connecting with the natural world and the energy of the sun, the sound of the wind, and the vibration of the water, and how that all resonates with you and your soul.”
In this environment, the light is not the only thing that shines.
Zen, in its many forms, has been around for a very long time.
In the 1800s, Chinese philosopher Confucius wrote that the sun was the embodiment of wisdom and that the soul was the light of the world.
Zens teachings include using your body to create an energy field, focusing on your breath and your inner thoughts, and using your mind to achieve inner peace.
The zen community has a long history, but now is the time to reconnect with your inner Zen, says Ms Waddelle.
“If you’re looking to have a really good time, the best thing is to have fun,” she adds.
“And this is where zen meets a little bit of yoga, and it meets a lot more things that we can use as a way to connect with the world and enjoy ourselves.”