Mondays & Tuesdays
*Subject to change.
December | 12.5.2023, 12.11 - 12.12.2023, 12.19.2023, 12.26.2023
11:30 AM - 5:00 PM
JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5
The “Mindfulness Lounge” program held in the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Level 5 Salon invites visitors to take a step away from your busy day and experience Japanese-style mindfulness. We welcome guests to relax on comfortable Japanese mats and cushions, enjoy projections of beautiful scenery, listen to healing music and natural sounds, and smell fragrant aroma.
As you enter the space, you will see the goza carpet on the floor. Take your shoes off and sit on the goza, or on one of the zafu (meditation cushions) to experience the Japanese way of relaxing, or sit at the table and chair for some reading.
About Goza: Goza is a traditional mat made from woven natural igusa rushes. It is similar to tatami, a traditional interior floor covering, but lighter and portable. While tatami and tatami mats are generally made from igusa, these mats we use are made with Japanese washi paper. Please enjoy the texture by sitting on the goza.
Guests are welcome to try zazen, or Japanese style meditation on the goza mat in our Mindfulness Lounge.
How to Start Mindfulness Meditation – in Seated “Zazen” Style
“Mindfulness meditation can take many forms – one of the most traditional is seated “zazen” practice with its roots in Japanese Zen Buddhism. Beginners can start exploring zazen in just a few minutes with this step-by-step guide”
1. Before sitting down for a zazen session do some light stretching to loosen up your body. After that, sit on the zazen cushion with your posture straight and your pelvis upright.
2. While sitting on the cushion, cross your legs with both feet placed on opposite thighs (1), or with one foot placed on the opposite thigh (2).
3. Place your left hand on top of your right hand in front of your lower abdomen, forming an oval between your thumbs and fingers. The position of the hand will change depending on how you cross your legs. Try not to worry about the exact position.
4. Relax and open your shoulders. When the hip joints are stretched, the psoas muscles are also stretched and the diaphragm is naturally lowered, making it easier to breathe. Breathe slowly through your nose and feel the breath flowing from the tip of your nose to your entire body.
5. Once you have adjusted your posture, sway your body back and forth, left and right, to find a position where your posture is comfortable. Then, gradually reduce the swaying and begin zazen.
6. During zazen, many thoughts come to mind. Do not dwell on them, nor try to eliminate them. Be aware of your thoughts, and return your attention to the present moment, to the sensations in your body and your breathing. Sit for as long as you like. You can start with even five minutes in the midst of your busy day.
7. When you finish, do not stand up abruptly. Stand up slowly by swaying your body back and forth as in 5.
Special thanks to: ZAF
Sit back and relax as you’re taken on a virtual journey through Japan. From rarely visited hidden gem National Parks to internationally recognized festivals, we hope you find your next travel destination. One of the videos featured in the space is made available here for those who cannot join us physically, below.
National Parks of Japan
National Parks featured in the video include:
- Akan-Mashu National Park (Hokkaido prefecture)
- Towada-Hachimantai National Park (Aomori prefecture)
- Nikko National Park (Tochigi prefecture)
- Chubusangaku National Park (Nagano prefecture)
- Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park (Kanagawa prefecture)
- Ise-Shima National Park (Mie prefecture)
- Daisen-Oki National Park (Tottori prefecture, Okayama prefecture, Shimane prefecture)
- Aso-Kuju National Park (Kumamoto prefecture, Oita prefecture)
- Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park (Kagoshima prefecture, Miyazaki prefecture)
- Keramashoto National Park (Okinawa prefecture)
This video was co-produced with Ministry of the Environment of Japan.
*To watch the video in full screen, please click on the image above, then click on the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner.
At the Mindfulness Lounge, guests can enjoy various scents of natural aroma oils from Japan. The essential oils used are produced by Hida Sangyo (Kitsutsuki Forest Research Institute), and are 100% natural and additive-free.
Scents that may be used include:
- Japanese cypress branches and leaves
- Japanese white pine
- Hinoki Wood
- Sansho pepper
- Japanese cedar
For those interested about the Hida region, read the full article about Spotlight on Traditional Crafts of Japan.
Experiencing Scent: An Exploration of Japanese Aromas and Blending
02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5