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The Kid Should See This

Zen garden patterns composed by designer Yuki Kawae

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To help create a calming and mindful space in his days, designer Yuki Kawae built a coffee-table size zen garden. Within it, he composes line patterns by dragging different small rakes across the sand.

Circles surround small rocks. Lines cross each other to create new shapes. Each movement is slow and purposeful. The 23.5-minute video above shares the experience. Via Colossal:

“I was quite overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks and what are the ‘expected’ next steps in life… One day, I realized all of those thoughts were completely gone when I was gardening, pruning, watering, and re-potting the soil. That process let me be clear-minded somehow, and it was very calming and refreshing.”

drawing circles around marble disks
Kawae began to share the meditative hobby on Instagram in 2019. He told Whitewall more about what he’s learned from the practice:

Knowing how most things in life are impermanent, whereas relationships with family and friends are forever. This practice helped me gain a few moments of complete clear-mindedness where I am not thinking about anything else. And the biggest positive of all is being able to share the work and be a little help to others, even just for a few minutes. If I could help someone out there who is overthinking, and if this video could stop that train of thought, I’ll be happy.

erasing patterns
raking small patterns in the sand
creating patterns in low light
Yuki Kawae
To create your own zen garden, follow the box building instructions on his site. The rakes were found online. He also provides a bit of guidance on rock and sand selection.

Find Kawae on YouTube and Instagram.

Watch these calming videos and videos about sand:
• Le bain de Calvin, a calming first bath for a newborn baby
• How to deal with anxiety from change and how to be at peace with the unknown
• Making a traditional Japanese wooden Kokeshi Doll
Speed up geologic time with this DIY squeeze box
Observing the angle of repose with DIY physics devices
• Liquid Sand Hot Tub: Making a giant fluidized bed of sand

Bonus: More mindfulness on TKSST.

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