Creating your own safe space for meditation is a peaceful journey. Here is how you can create a Zen Garden in your backyard.
After a long day of work, our bodies and minds need some sort of quiet, a little refuge from the outside world. This need for solitude and contemplation turned gardens into Zen gardens by Japanese Buddhist monks.
What is a Zen Garden?
In Japanese, Zen gardens are called karesansui; they’re a traditional garden with rock, sand, wood, plants, gravel. They can include enclosed walls, fences, bridges, or lanterns to separate your meditative space from the outside.
Making a Zen Garden:
Here’s how to start with a Zen Garden in your backyard:
Choose a site
What part of your backyard do you want to change into a Zen Garden? How big is the space going to be? Ideally, choose a flat area in the corner that’ll be comfortable enough to meditate in.
This is your space, think about how you want it to look, read guides, books, visit some Zen gardens, see what you want to include in your Zen place.
Zen gardens follow seven principles: Stillness, Naturalness, Unconventionality, Mystery, Simplicity, Austerity, and Asymmetry. Keep these in mind when creating your meditative space.
Experiment with what you want. In traditional Zen gardens, there are no water features and just a few plants. You can alter it with how you want, put in fountains or a lot of plants.
Tailor the garden to your taste, and create a space you’d want to spend time in.
Keep in mind how big or space your allotted space is; if the space is small, big stones will fill it up and overwhelm it. You want to make sure the material and scale go along together.
This space needs to be light, simple, and uncluttered. Don’t fill it up with unnecessary things that take up a lot of space. Choose a calming color scheme as well to keep your garden relaxing.
Elements of a Zen Garden
There is meaning in everything, patterns that are waiting to be seen and concepts that need to be thought of. In Zen gardens, gravel is put in a pattern that represents water, big rocks are suggestive of mountains, islands, fire, earth. This abstractness is supposed to stir one’s imagination, allowing the mind to wander off.
Rocks symbolize the human desire for eternity and the endurance of our spirit. You can put in a screen to cut yourself from the outside world; you can opt for fences, hedges, or a wall. Some statutes can work as focal points for your meditation, and a few minimalistic plants can be used; remember not to overwhelm the place. Flowers are generally not used as greenery is the prime focus.
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