Union Square, Zen and now 

Union Square has been transformed from a shop-til-you-drop frenzy into a relaxing Zen garden.  And like all things Zen, it is only temporary.

Westin Hotels & Resorts brought in more than 25 tons of gravel and rocks to build the 30-by-80-foot Zen garden, which will last just three days.

The garden is punctuated with stepping stones and bamboo. It also features a bench for sitting, gazing and relaxing.

A different Zen artist will design the garden each day. Passersby can watch, stop, relax and enjoy the process as well as the tranquil space itself.

Local artist and master of Zen Philosophy Ivan Shvarts will rake time-appropriate patterns in the sand every day during peak traffic periods (8 a.m., 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.) as well as lunch time (11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.) daily so anyone in the area can witness this ancient calming art in action.

The project is part of of Westin's campaign "for transformative and renewing experiences."

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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