Create Your Own Meditation and Zen Garden Landscape

Designed to present the sense of calm in meditation, Zen garden create perfect, symmetrical, and never-ended circles which are related each other to build a high concentration. In fact, when the word garden is mentioned, one would think of green scenery, which includes plants, trees, bushes, grass, flowers, a fish pond, and so on.

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Zen gardens however, are created with little plant material, and have neither pond nor river.

This garden has only rock, gravel, sand, and perhaps a few pieces of moss. Relying on a few simple elements, the design of the Zen garden calms the mind and promotes a meditative state.

A little history:

This garden dates back to the Muromachi period, the fifteenth century. Its physical form represents Zen Buddhist philosophy, Zen self-examination, spiritual refinement, and enlightenment. The two main elements of a Zen garden are rocks, which represent mountains, and sand, which represents water. The “sand” used is actually crushed granite or fine gravel.

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The act of raking the gravel into a pattern recalling waves or rippling water has an aesthetic function. Zen priests practice this raking also to help their concentration. Achieving perfection of lines is not easy. Rakes are according to the patterns of ridges as desired and limited to some of the stone objects situated within the gravel area. Nonetheless often the patterns are not static. Developing variations in patterns is a creative and inspiring challenge.

The reduction of materials concept in the Zen garden to its absolute minimal reflects the Japanese attitude toward the sensitivity to art, beauty, and spaces, in which are often implied rather than stated: The spaces in Zen garden are to be sensed more than viewed!

Being in the middle of small sand dessert in Zen garden is an unforgettable moment by which you feel like standing on the grey ocean with thousands of spume on the calm surface. And, with a little amount of fresh green trees and sculpted stone, it looks very amazing.

Elements and their meaning in Zen gardens:

– Gates, fences, straw ropes, and cloth banners acted as signs to demarcate paces.
– Shrines were more of a mental construct than physical emplacements, a place that existed in the mind instead of a place that could be seen. The shrine is a setting of spirit. It is also a place where humans and spirit meet.
– The garden is the setting for human activity.
– Sand represents water.
– Stones are the major elements of design in Japanese garden. The shapes of natural stones have been divided into five categories called five natural stones.

Create your own Meditation and Zen Garden:

1 – Choose a place in your backyard where you want your meditation garden. However, a Japanese meditation garden will take careful planning in positioning to create a calm and balanced feeling in the garden, but should be calming and easy to live with.
2 – Remove everything, any grass, and unwanted plants or other material.
3 – Lay down a layer of weed barrier to cover the Zen garden area. Enclose the garden with a simple border, such as wood or plastic edging
4 – Make a hole in the weed barrier at your chosen location to set a small evergreen shrub, if you are using one. Plant the shrub and arrange the weed barrier to surround it.
5 – Fill the space with sand or pea pebbles, and take a miniature rake, or move your fingers, back and forth across the sand, making a wave effect. This incorporates the water element paramount to a Zen garden. A fountain with slow trickling water is also a popular item.
6 – Position a few large rocks with interesting shapes in the garden. Place them so that they create a pleasing, open pattern that draws the eye from any angle. It is important that you find rocks in shapes that appeal to you since these will form the backbone of the design. This is the earth element of Zen garden.
7 – For wood, a small Bonsai tree makes a nice, though expensive, addition. Other plant materials that work well are bamboo and grasses, particularly mondo grass.
8 – You can also, add one or two decorative features, such as a Japanese lantern, a small bridge or a small statue of significance to you. Do not clutter the landscape or choose objects with complex designs. Simplicity is key in the Zen garden.

Now, every time you have negative emotions on you, you can rest your time to sit at your porch while you are looking down to find a great meditation effect of thousands of sand granules. A Zen garden is an easy and quick way to bring some simplicity and serenity into the home.