Gilroy’s Zen Room beats all that stress

RELAX YOUR MIND Former Silicon Valley worker Dawn Culp opened The Zen Room, a business that works the other side of people’s brains, the one that brings contemplation, peace and relaxation and is the opposite of her previous career.

Within minutes, the mind wanders off to distant forests and worries melt away, if only for a while. Dawn Culp at The Zen Room, may have the cure for the work-a-day blues. And for a reasonable price too.
“My services are all designed for people to find that really quiet space inside of themselves,” Culp,44, said of helping her customers find peace of mind away from the hustle of modern day society. “People often tell me after a group meditation that they haven’t slept that well in a long time.”
For Culp, opening her business two years ago was a leap of faith. Many would consider Gilroy to be a little too small, and perhaps a bit too straight laced for a meditation business to thrive. In referring to her customer base, Culp said you may be surprised who frequents The Zen Room.
“I’m starting to see a lot more men come in here and say, ‘Hey, what do I have to lose?’” Culp said of some of the changing attitudes she has seen regarding meditation. “All it takes is a veteran, who has suffered horrible experiences, say in Afghanistan, who has terrible PTSD. They come in and they feel so much better. They come back every month and they come to the classes and the group classes. I’ve seen a lot of improvement in them and they go back to their VA doctors and ask if they can incorporate meditation as part of the VA offerings that are covered.”
Culp grew up in Los Gatos but later moved to San Jose to work in the tech industry. She moved to Gilroy with her husband about 14 years ago with the intent of staying for a couple of years as their home appreciated in value before they moved back to San Jose. Their plans would change.
“We fell in love with Gilroy,” Culp said. “I was about as left brain as you could get without being an engineer. In about 2007 I started wondering if that was going to be what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and if that was how I was going to contribute to society.”
She didn’t jump in with both feet immediately. While she worked her nine to five job working in business intelligence and business operations in Silicon Valley, she became certified to do hypnotherapy, which led to learning how to lead one-on-one and group meditations. After working nights and weekends in hypnotherapy and meditation, she decided to strike out on her own.
“I opened my own space two years ago and I just moved to this larger location a month and a half ago,” Culp said. “I believe that is direct evidence that the work I’m doing is striking a chord with people.”
Open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. and evenings only by appointment, Culp offers group meditation classes for $20 and one-on-one meditation sessions on a sliding scale. For the once a month mental one-hour meditation Culp charges $85. Two or three, one-hour sessions a month cost $75 and four or more times a month costs $69.
“In the one-on-one sessions it’s just them and me and it’s completely confidential,” Culp said. “It allows them to be vulnerable and a lot of people don’t think they can really release what they need to release in a group setting. If a tear or two come out, they don’t feel they need to shove it back in because someone may be watching. It can be an emotional experience.”
Culp is experimenting with Zen Room memberships which cost $97 a month for a single one-on-one, one-hour appointment and one group meditation, along with 10 percent off on all items in the retail store. A more affordable package offers one-half an hour session, one group session and 5 percent retail items for $57.
Along with hypnotherapy, Culp offers an array of other services. She offers Reiki Energy Sessions, Chakra Balancing, Guided Imagery, Intuitive Sessions, Sound Therapy and Meditation Coaching. In her retail section she sells inspirational books, essential oils, crystals, jewelry and trinkets.
As of now, there are only a few places offering meditation in Gilroy besides The Zen Room, but if more decide to open, Culp would be happy to welcome them to town.
To book an appointment, you can visit thezenroom.net, where visitors can also find a calendar of special events along with a blog. Culp has also uploaded guided meditation sessions on The Zen Room TV on Youtube. The Zen Room is located at 60 Fourth St. #103.

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