If you’re going to meditate then a quiet spot is a good thing. My partner Deb has been meditating regularly for years now and when we moved to our small beach house we decided to put up a dedicated meditation room, or zendo, as a quiet space.
Choosing an appealing kitset building was the first challenge, and then finding a builder to put it up was the second. There were a lot of glitches along the way, but after some time there it was in its spot between the sand hills that comprise our land. It has a lovely view of the cow paddock next door and the Tararuas in the east (obscured by cloud in the photo).
It’s private and quiet, hot in summer, and on these cooler autumn nights fairly chilly. The builders have done all they’re going to do, and now it’s up to us to insulate and line it.
I measured everything, including the depth of the wooden frame. It’s built around 40 mm framing which limits our insulation possibilities. Fortunately the polystyrene I wanted to use comes in a thickness that works.
I drove to Palmerston North the other day and had a long conversation with a helpful staffer at Bunnings. By the time I left I had two sheets of 1200 mm x 2400 mm polystyrene insulation in the back of our people mover car. I’d had each sheet cut in two so they’d fit in the car. If I’d been able to visualise how much space they’d take I could have bought 4 or 5 sheets, but two was a good start.
On Monday I made a start installing some of the insulation in the roof. That was when I discovered my measurements were off slightly. Instead of the space being a convenient 1200 mm wide it was in fact only 1194 mm. That meant I had to trim 6 mm off each panel to make it fit.
I found my straight edge and started off by trying to score the panel, dragging a Stanley Knife along my line. That was absolutely useless as an approach. It created lots of tiny bits of polystyrene and a very uneven edge. What finally worked was to use my Gerber utility knife with a sawing motion along the straight line. That works very well, is easy and creates very little mess.
I lifted the trimmed panel into place (that stuff weighs nothing) and it fit perfectly. But it was also inclined to fall out, so I needed to attach the strapping the staffer at Bunnings had recommended I buy for that reason. I cut a piece of strapping, held it up against the frame … and found my cheapie staple gun was jammed. Totally jammed.
It really doesn’t pay to buy cheap tools. After a trip to Levin I returned with a good quality staple gun, put the insulation panel back in place — it had fallen out while I was away — and attached some strapping to hold it in place.
After that first panel the others went in quickly. I think it’ll be a fairly straightforward job to finish the insulation work, once I have enough panels.
The next problem then will be the lining. We’re thinking of using plywood, but again, transporting it from the shop to home will be the first problem. Then I need to figure out how to actually install it. Still, that’s what YouTube’s for.
With delivery delays, builder delays, summer holidays, the zendo has had a very slow start. Still, it’s getting there. We’re waiting for the electrician who will connect our yet-to-be-built garage to supply power to the zendo, and a plumber to install a rainwater tank. I guess, as with all building, waiting is part of the process.