Do you have a friend who is an experience Zen Buddhist and you don’t know what to get them as a gift? Or maybe you know someone who’s been feeling stressed out, disconnected, or in need of some relaxation. This list of zen gifts covers both!
In today’s world, it seems as if there is a never-ending stream of worries and frustrations–suffering, as it’s called in Buddhism. Whether you are experiencing these things yourself or you’re simply witnessing them in others, one of the best things that we can do to counteract this negativity is spirituality.
These best zen gifts can help people find peace and tranquility through mindfulness practices.
What is Zen?
Zen is essentially a type of Buddhism as it evolved all the way from India and the original Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) to Japan over a very long history. It focuses on mindfulness and spiritual awareness through zazen, sitting meditation. In Zen Buddhism, you release your ego/self and practice conservation of natural resources to care for our earth.
Giving a Zen Gift to Spark Spiritual Awareness
While we may be interested in giving a zen gift to someone who needs a little calm in their life, we really want to give these gifts to someone who is already interested in zen, Buddha’s teachings, or spirituality. The person who is angry or needs to learn balance may not receive these gifts well, or perhaps won’t bother with them.
Rather, the person who is a spiritual friend will take these gifts and turn their meditation or yoga practice into something more profound.
The 30 Best Zen Gifts to Give This Holiday Season
These zen gifts are all wonderful, mindfulness gifts that can help a person learn to cultivate mindful happiness in their life. They can help a person cultivate serenity and calm in their life by helping them slow their mind and let go of their ego and earthly worries.
Zen items can help someone find balance in today’s chaotic world. Let’s start with some Zen books for a spiritual journey.
This is a short little book that gives you a lot of Buddha’s wisdom in an easy way to understand. Basically, the premise is that the world gives you exactly what you need at every moment.
Humans have a tendency to get wrapped up in our emotions, good and bad. But emotions are only there to guide us and help us understand how events, both large and small, have impacted our lives. No more, no less.
This book is a great gift for someone who wants to learn more about Zen Buddhism. It outlines the history of Zen by way of the 3 pillars: teaching, practice, and enlightenment. Learn more about zazen and Zen practice.
A lot that we think of as “zen” in the Western world is just relaxation and deep peace. But this is the real Zen and how to practice it: body, mind, and spirit.
I recommend this in place of An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, by D.T. Suzuki. While Zen can be a difficult subject to comprehend, books about Zen can be understandably convoluted or confusing.
This one, from an Eastern perspective, is a little more accessible to Westerners, especially those who are beginners or have never studied Zen before.
Although Taoism is not technically in the tradition of Zen, Zen Buddhism and Taoism share common roots and common teachings. The Tao Te Ching is one of my own personal favorite writings on Eastern philosophy: it is soothing and comforting like a cup of tea on a rainy day.
The Tao Te Ching is a great addition to any spiritual person’s library.
Jon Kabat-Zinn has a huge collection of books on mindfulness and his contribution to the science of mindfulness is unparalleled. He is a former professor and researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR therapy).
He was originally introduced to meditation by Philip Kapleau and was able to turn it into a profound technique for reducing stress. While Wherever You Go, There You Are is a great choice, he has many other excellent books to choose from.
Here is another book that is a fantastic choice for zen gifts. Thich Nhat Hanh is the ultimate writer to explain the teachings of Buddhism in a way that are relatable for the reader. If you’ve ever heard him speak or watched a video of his, you know that he explains things in a very simple way that makes perfect sense.
You Are Here is all about letting the past and future fall aside for the beauty of the present moment.
RELATED POST: 16 Books to Read on Your Spiritual Journey
Do you or your zen friend have trouble with the impermanence of life? This may manifest as anxiety or neverending worry. Pema Chodron is an expert at explaining how to “sit with groundlessness” or relaxing into our negative thoughts and worries.
It can help with someone else’s anxiety–it certainly did with mine.
Yoga, Meditation, and Spiritual Practice Gifts
An essential zen gift, mala beads are a beaded necklace that you use to meditate. They’re frequently used in japa yoga, which uses chanting. Mala beads can be used to recite affirmations or mantras 108 times (the number of beads in a mala necklace, which is also a sacred number in Buddhism.)
You can find these prayer beads in both expensive and inexpensive forms, but stay away from plastic beads and charms.
Singing bowls are another fantastic gift that you can give to someone who needs some balance. Different tones have different healing energies, and these singing bowls help you focus on one frequency (or several) to coordinate your healing with chakras, or energy centers.
Singing bowls come in both metal and crystal, and the crystal ones are much more pricey.
For those who practice meditating every day, a comfortable place to meditate is key. During zazen (seated meditation) our feet or legs may often go numb, and something like a cushion that props you up can help keep blood flow established.
This cushion for meditating is eco-friendly with a cork exterior and buckwheat interior.
For those who practice yoga, they likely have a yoga mat, maybe more than one. This particular yoga mat is great for those who want to be active in the fight against climate change–it’s made of cork and it is a sustainable material!
So if you have a spiritual friend who prefers yoga, add to their zen by getting them a new yoga mat!
RELATED POST: 31 Mind-Blowing Eco-Friendly Gifts for Her (Leave Your Reusable Grocery Bags Behind!)
If your friend is someone who has trouble with meditation, these candles can help tremendously. They burn for about 20 minutes, which can be a great starting time to meditate. Additionally, the candle gives your eye a place to focus for those twenty minutes.
Finding a Buddha-like mindfulness is a little easier with these fantastic candles from the Etsy shop 20 Minute Candles. They come with a little holder and matches!
Incense is an essential part of many religious and spiritual practices because it can help you achieve an elevated state. If your zen friend has a meditation space or regularly uses incense, this may be an excellent choice for them!
I’ve chosen two highly rated Tibetan burners, one flat, one hanging. Don’t forget to buy some incense to go with it!
43 Gifts for Spiritual Healing
Meditation Space Decor Zen Gifts
While this one may seem a little hokey, it’s also a lot of fun! A Buddha board is designed to help you draw, practice calligraphy or make designs with the knowledge that these designs will soon disappear. They claim this helps you to embrace the impermanence of life.
An essential concept in the lessons of Buddha, impermanence of life is what gives life its beauty.
15) Zenergy Chime
Zenergy Chimes are simple zen gifts that are great for a meditation space. They can come in single chimes, or multiple chimes, and many are much larger. These chimes can help create a space that is full of peace and calm during meditation.
16) Zen Garden
Whether you use it as decor or as a mindfulness activity, Zen gardens are quintessential zen gifts.
This zen garden is a kit that comes ready for you to design your own space. There are 7 small tower crystals to match the seven chakras.
But remember, while this picture is designed to show you ALL the components of this Zen garden, ideally a garden will be well balanced and free from clutter: so don’t use too much of these things all at once!
Calligraphy is the art of painting characters is a very aesthetically pleasing way. This calligraphy says, “Every day is a good day” in Japanese.
This shop on Etsy is run by Aiko, a Japanese calligraphy artist currently residing in Texas. She makes the most beautiful calligraphy, and it’s also very affordable!
Here is another great zen gift that can help you create a peaceful space. Water is balanced, natural, and the sound of flowing water can help someone relax. Bamboo, of course, is found in abundance in Asia. But this fountain is just the top water pump, so be sure to purchase a bowl or planter or some kind for them as well!
Put it indoors or outside in your garden to make a peaceful space.
19) Meditation Altar
Zen gifts of all kinds need somewhere to go! This meditation altar is two tiered and is almost 2 feet long (on the bottom tier).
This shop makes the altars by hand, uses real pine, and stains them with an eco-friendly stain. If you’re looking for a high quality altar, this is it! Choose an option for blank wood or a woodburned lotus design.
For the end of a meditation session, a tingsha is a gentle reminder to come back to ones body. A tingsha is a wonderful gift for a yoga or meditation teacher, women’s circle leader, or even a teacher!
This tingsha is a simple, inexpensive gift, one that could be a stocking-stuffer. There are many more zen items like singing bowls and chimes at this Etsy shop, so check them out!
21) Lotus Art
When it comes to zen gifts, lotus is something we often think of. The lotus is the beautiful flower that blooms from the mud. In Buddhism, lotus represents the purity of our soul that emerges from all the suffering we have endured.
This art comes in all kinds of different sizes, and shipping is free!
For those spiritual friends who love bonsai trees (or nature in general), a bonsai tree is a wonderful zen gifts.
This juniper bonsai is a live plant, about 3-4 years old. There are options for fertilizer and tray, as well as options for the color of the pot.
23) Wind Chimes
Designed for outdoor use, hang these wind chimes in your garden or backyard. The shop Peace Love Zen on Etsy has an overall 5 star rating and is very careful with shipping.
To hear the sound of the these wind chimes, click the link and scroll to the dropbox link in the description.
24) Seated Buddha
When constructing a meditation altar, including Buddha is a great way to remind us of our thoughts. Not only this, but Buddha is a great place to hang your mala or prayer beads for safe keeping. This Buddha is 10 inches tall.
Self-Care Zen Gifts for Relaxation
25) Chinese Tea Set
Sure, zen is technically Japanese, but who would say no to this Chinese set? The ceremony of preparing and drinking tea is a discipline in and of itself and can help us develop mindfulness.
A tea gift like this will certainly wow the receiver! Purchase it with the tea sampler below!
I was pleasantly surprised to find this wonderful travel tea set on Etsy! For those who want to bring their tea ceremony with them while they travel, this set is perfect! It comes with a teapot, cannister, 4 cups and the carrying case!
It’s hard to be zen and peaceful when you’re hyped up on coffee. Green tea is better beverage to drink. Green tea has many health benefits, including reducing risk of cancer and heart disease, improving brain function, and helping metabolism burn more fat.
This sampler comes with 4 loose leaf types, including: dragonwell, mango, mint, and lemon.
For zen gifts, this one is a great selection for someone who needs to cleanse their space. Maybe they just recently moved or went through a break-up or divorce.
It comes with white sage and palo santo to burn. The rose quartz is there for protection, and the flowers make it beautiful.
These bath salts have been charged with Reiki and are an excellent way to relax at the end of a stressful day. Buddhism tells us to care for our bodies, because our bodies are our connection to the cosmos. Thus, taking a relaxing bath in self care is a spiritual choice.
Here’s another zen gift that’s great to someone who practices yoga. This yoga box includes a mala bracelet, teas, yoga headband, essential oils, and mandala coaster.
31) Zen Spa Gift Box
If your friend is someone who prefers “zen” meaning “relaxing” and embraces all those “cheugy” things that millennials like, this Zen AF box might be for them!
It might not be traditionally zen, but it can certainly help a person relax! It includes: a soy candle, body butter, lip balm, soap, bath bomb, and much more for the large sized box! Check it out!
These zen gifts are sure to help someone embrace their spirituality, learn Buddhism, and find peace of mind in their life.