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).