What are desert sand zen blocks?
Desert sand zen blocks are the building blocks of meditation. As irregular shaped set of wooden tumi ishi pieces, they’re our spin on wooden tumi ishi blocks. “Tumi Ishi” (pronounced too-mee ee-shee) is a Japanese word that literally means piled stones. Why that’s translated over to the English language, is because of tumi ishi’s reference to the ancient art of balancing stones in nature.
These imaginative wooden tumi ishi set represent the Japanese philosophy of balance, focus and mindfulness. We like to think of it like this: zen blocks are like guided mindfulness meditation manifested in the form of a toy.
How are desert sand zen blocks different?
Unlike regular flat-sided wooden blocks, zen blocks come in all sorts of odd polyhedron shapes. They’re handmade, so no two blocks are exactly the same. Compared to square blocks, zen blocks are often considered more challenging to stack.
The increased difficulty of stacking zen blocks is an intentional part of the experience. Regular building blocks are made for just that — building with blocks — so they’re made with broader faces and simpler shapes to make building up tall, sturdy block structures easier.
The purpose of zen blocks is different: mindfulness practice for the present moment. Fashioned from small chunks of wood, and cut like precious gemstones, zen blocks are made for deliberate and delicate balancing — a new type of calming meditation. They offer an unparalleled mindful play experience, boosting focus and attention, and creativity.
Who are desert sand zen blocks for?
Zen blocks are a soothing balancing toy for children and adults alike. Each set boasts its own unique tranquil color scheme, so it’s no surprise they make a unique gift for the people in your life who need a moment of relaxation in their day-to-day lives.
Like your niece who’s already practicing yoga at three years old. Like your son, who’s just starting to learn that math’s not that easy. Like your hard-to-shop-for friend who spends most of their evenings stuck in the office. Or for any stressed out parent who, on a day to day basis, has thousands of decisions to make and dozens errands to run.
Zen blocks offer a moment of peace and relaxation to break up the hectic stressful day, and can help anyone gain a little headspace and calmness, even if they’re not ready for full-on yoga or mindfulness training. Think of someone in your life who could use a little break, someone who could use a little stress relief, or someone who’s dealing with anxiety and depression. For that very person, zen blocks offer tiny moments of clarity and happiness.
What’s balancing desert sand zen blocks all about?
Imagine yourself meditating next to a serene rainforest waterfall. You breathe in and out, listening to the calm trickle water and feeling a cool mist on your skin. As your mind wanders, you notice a collection of peculiar rocks along the riverside. Full of childlike curiosity, you pick up one stone, and then another. One by one, you carefully place one on top of the next. With each stone, you feel a deeper calm, a greater level of focus, and a sensation of oneness with the present moment.
This is what playing with zen blocks feels like. By simply balancing blocks in any way you like, you can achieve precious zen-like moments full of calm, creativity and mindfulness. As a modern version of the spiritual rock-stacking rituals practiced for generations, zen blocks help you achieve balance in your life.
For children as young as three, zen blocks are a simple sensory toy set for boosting cognitive development, building motor skills, and practicing patience and perseverance. They’ll also teach your little one the beginning steps of how to meditate. For all ages, the benefits of zen blocks extend into various aspects of life. They promote creative out-of-the-box thinking and creative problem solving, as well as offer much-needed moments of inspiration and relaxation.
How to play with desert sand zen blocks?
Zen blocks offer a completely open-ended play experience. You can stack, sort, mix, match and balance them any way you choose.
Individual zen block pieces vary in size. Naturally, it’s easier to balance smaller pieces onto larger pieces. But if you get into the flow and feel like challenging yourself, try the opposite — placing larger pieces on top of smaller pieces. Whichever way makes you feel better, just follow your heart — that’s exactly how you should play them.
Practicing mindfulness with your zen blocks doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them, too! In fact, playfulness and laughter are great ways to relieve stress. Try assigning one aspiration to each piece you put in place. As more and more of your aspirations come together, your wish will come true! Pair up with your child or a friend to play a game of Jenga, taking turns to add a piece without toppling the tumi ishi pieces over. There’s no winning or losing. Whoever tips over the stone pile has to pay the other person a compliment.
Zen blocks are beautiful. For this very reason, they’re wonderful to keep displayed at home or in the office when not in use. Arrange them on your bookshelf or coffee table at home. Or keep them on your desk at the office. Each time your zen blocks enter your field of vision, you’ll feel the positive vibes. They just have that kind of aura around them.