This paper lotus lamp helps you practice mindful breathing


Last week, we found a way to water our plants by singing to them. This week, we’re focusing inward, and taking care of ourselves with a simple paper-enclosed bot.

This lamp will beep cheerfully to remind you when it’s time to stop and relax. When you pick it up and hold it in your lap, it will pulse at a rate of six breaths per minute to help you regulate your breathing. After five minutes, it turns itself off.

The build process is relaxing in of itself — no soldering, and some fun origami. Instructions are below!

If you have questions about the build or are looking for more hacks, find me on Twitter at @christinesunu or check out


  • Particle Internet Button
  • Long Micro USB to USB cable
  • USB power brick for wall
  • 7 x 7 inch origami paper: 12 sheets of white and 6 sheets of green
  • A piece of white origami paper, cut to a 3.5 x 3.5-inch square
  • A rubberband

Build it!

Set up your Particle Internet Button by opening this code on Particle Build. For more info on getting set up, check out the Particle docs.

Change the `timeZone` variable to your time zone. The time zone is represented by the number of hours offset from UTC. PDT is -7, for example.

Set the `timeToGoOff` variable to the start of the hour at which you would like to be reminded to meditate. Use 24-hour time: 7AM is 7, but 7PM is 19.

Flash the code to your Internet Button!

Make the paper diffuser for your LED lamp. You’ll be folding an origami lotus.

The video has a quick rundown of how to do this, but you can also check out this tutorial for more detailed info. I basically did mine via those instructions, but without any of the yellow paper in the middle.

Put your Internet Button into the center of the lotus and thread the USB cable out of the bottom and to the side. Cover the middle of the button with a small piece of origami paper.

Use it!

The lamp will automatically remind you that it is time to meditate, every day at the time you listed in the firmware.

If you want to start a session sooner, or end a session before your five minutes are up, you can jerk the lamp quickly to the side. This will cause the lamp to start your meditation timer or — if it is currently meditating — return to its sleep state.

Keeping track of your sessions online

You can log your meditation schedule using IFTTT or Librato. The firmware for the lotus publishes two different events. You can track either or both. A “start” event is published at the beginning of your meditation session, and an “end” event is published at the end.

If you’d like to track these on IFTTT, follow this tutorial for logging temperature, but replace the “temperature” event with “start” or “end.”

If you’d like to track these on Librato, follow this tutorial for logging temperature, but replace the “temp” event with “start” or “end.”

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