For centuries, Japanese Zen masters have cultivated gardens of harmoniously arranged rocks & white raked gravel creating silent havens for peaceful contemplation.
By cultivating a miniature Zen Garden reducing for a moment the day's problem to a few waves of sand against the rocks - one may come away feeling as if the rest of life has become simpler.
Japanese miniature rock gardens
Muso Soseki, a Zen priest and poet known as the father of the Zen rock garden, was born on the west coast of Japan in 1275, and died in 1351 in a temple on the outskirts of Kyoto, where he had created one of his last rock gardens.
This inner contemplation and calm can lead to a fresh outlook and clear mind. Like a restorative balm, Zen gardening is an antidote to stresses of modern living.
A Zen garden can create a feeling of space in your garden, home or office – or impart a sense of order and a spirit of tranquility and calm.
The gardens are a means to discover the sources and strengths of our natural humanity which, according to Zen teaching, is poised, calm, sincere and capable of facing all matters in life with calmness and perfect composure.
Zen rock gardens both disarm and empower us.
They are so radically different from all other gardens we know that our usual responses must give way to deeper ones. This little Zen garden encourages you to create or just play.
It reflects your inner feelings through the designs and patterns you rake. That is when small things take on a bigger resonance, when we have the chance to glimpse the meaning of the world in a grain of sand, for it has been framed in majestic simplicity. It will bring stillness to your nerves, let your mind float, sweeten your soul, or like a book reach down into some deeper earthiness of your more secret nature.
Behind this miniature garden lies centuries of disciplined striving and spiritual development. For the Japanese it is an instrument of meditation and relaxation – in the West it is regarded as a stress reliever.
According to Zen and Feng Shui beliefs, every corner of one’s environment is important and deserves respect.
Your Zen garden can be the beginning of a lifelong adventure of seeing things in a new way. This garden may enable you to enter into a tradition that goes as far back as 3000 B.C. and is as near to you in time as your next thought or your next perception. In the inner appreciation of the simplicity of a miniature garden one has the ability to reduce all complexities to a matter of sand and rocks.
To appreciate Zen gardens it is important to understand why and how the elements used in them came to be of importance to the Japanese.
They believe that not only was it beneficial to live in a harmonious or well balanced environment, it also promotes longevity.
Japanese miniature rock gardens make the stress levels slip away – promoting better health and well-being.