Zenís 7 Ruling Design Principles

Zenís seven ruling principles are guiding lights of design. Once you read them they make real sense for an authentic design plan for your home.

Asymmetry (Fukinsei): Stiff, formal symmetry, suggesting frozen finality and artificial perfection, can be fatal to the imagination. Asymmetry lets us be loose and spontaneousómore human than godlike. It means we can get by with oneóor threeócandlesticks, and all the china doesnít have to match.

Simplicity (Kanos): Zen eschews gaudy, ornate, and over embellished in favor of sparse, fresh, and neat. Itís the triumph of craftsman style over the cluttered Victorian parlor.

Austerity (Koko): Zen asks us to reduce everything to ďthe pith of essence.Ē Donít love it? Canít find a use for it? Let it go.

Naturalness (Shizen): Zen is artless, without pretense or self-consciousness. Itís bare wood, unpolished stone, and flowers from the backyard.

Subtle Profundity (Yugen): Within Zen lies a deep reserve, a mysterious, shadowy darkness. The hint of soft moonlight thorugh a skylight would be yugen.

Freedom from Worldly Attachments (Datsuzoku): The Buddha taught us not to be bound to life, things, or rules. ďIt is not a strong bond, say the wise, that is made of iron, wood, or hemp,Ē he said. ďFar greater an attachment than that is the longing for jewels and ornaments, children and wives.Ē Itís the simplicity movement, not keeping up with the Joneses.

Silence (Sejaku): Inwardly oriented, Zen embraces the quiet calm of dawn, dusk, late autumn, and early spring.

Adapted from The Wabi-Sabi House by Robyn G. Lawrence (Clarkson Potter, 2004).

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Melissa T.
Melissa T.4 years ago

Clutter semms to bring confusion

Louis Olivencia
Louis Olivencia5 years ago

When your home is clean and uncluttered so are you. Show me a dirty house, and behold so is the owner!

Elly Yule
Past Member 7 years ago

As long as the Zen home had touches of colour I might be okay. I see this article as a good outline or starting point to living a less cluttered life. We have never had matching china and I hate matching living room furniture, I have always mixed old and new and loved it. I hate anything too bland or regimented, but then I have a creative eclectic personality! Have fun. www.GrassdancerEssences.com - Healing Energy from Nature

Pradnyaa J.
Pradnyaa J.7 years ago

nice to look at but difficult to live in such a house and maintain it... I mean where do you keep your shoes, old news papers, laundry?

Jillian Fernandez

But all very impersonal. I would feel really ill at ease in a zen house.

Diane Wayne
Past Member 7 years ago

This is really nice. I particularly like the last Silence. Thank you, Annie, makes sense, looks and feels and sounds good.

Mary Walsh
Past Member 7 years ago

Yes, I want to know more too....thats my style...lots of space and no clutter...

David W.
7 years ago

Wow I want to know more

Matsi Yasei
Matsi Yasei7 years ago

It's definetly a great destressing tool.