From history’s earliest time, man has endeavored to have a sanctuary-like setting to free his mind and body from stress, make a connection with “the gods” and commune with nature in his own way. For centuries, man has created meditation water gardens to help with the task.
A garden thoughtfully designed can become sacred, connecting you with Spirit and the divine. The feeling of being in the personal sanctuary – where you go for peace, solace, safety, and comfort for your body, mind, and spirit.
Conventional gardens are often functional, yet aesthetic creations, but may lack symbolic elements that can make them deeply meaningful to you on a personal and spiritual level. You can take your garden to a higher level by adding the right spiritual elements.
Ancient Persian and Chinese gardens have existed for centuries and became popular in Europe during the sixteenth century. The early Greeks used elements such as steam-powered mechanical birds that sang and many European palaces have incorporated many such unique devices.
One of the best-known water gardens in Europe is Italy’s Villa d’Este at Tivoli. The 1550 A.D. garden features fountains and grottoes and water-powered figures that spout water.
With all of the products now available, it’s easy to design and implement a meditation water garden – whether you only have a small patio or porch or a large area in your yard.
What is a Meditation Garden?
Whether you’re living in an urban or idyllic area, a meditation garden can free you from the stress of real life. This type of garden can take many different forms, but its main purpose is to provide a beautiful healing place for relaxation, rejuvenation, and meditation. Designing a meditation garden can also be a healing process, as you decide which aspects of the garden will be most helpful to you.
The most important thing about the garden is that it gives you a feeling of comfort and nourishment. This obviously means many different things to different people. For some, lush greenery is the most important part of their meditation garden, while others want running water or stones. However, some ideas are common to meditation gardens.
First, gardens used for meditation should be private. If you live close to another house, you’ll want to create privacy. This can be achieved by including some type of canopy or installing an attractive screen. It is possible to build an arbor and block your view with climbing plants or hedges.
Your garden should also need to be comfortable. Make sure you have comfortable seating, or a comfortable area to practice yoga or meditation. The temperature should also be taken into account, so consider which side of your home is sunny and which tends to be brighter, and make your location decision based on those criteria.
Also, think about what kind of plants you want to have in your meditation garden. Unless you’re going to spend a lot of time gardening, look for native plants that don’t require much maintenance. Fast-growing plants help create space for the meditation you’re looking for, while greenery helps bring most people into a more peaceful state of mind.
Finally, consider hiring a professional to help you design your meditation garden. As demand increases, more and more landscape architects are available to assist you in carrying out your gardening project. A landscape architect can help plan the type of space you’re looking for you to respite and meditate in your own garden.
What is the Main Purpose of a Zen Garden?
Meditation gardens such as Zen gardens are becoming more and more popular. Each section of the garden is designed to represent a journey to the inner sanctuary and to provide a secluded setting for meditation, contemplation, and self-reflection.
People who practice yoga should know that the ultimate meaning of yoga is “meditation”, which concentrates on one’s own wishes, love, hope, etc. under the same law for deep meditation.
When practicing meditation, it must be in a quiet environment without external interference. It is best to practice at the same time and place every day so that it is easier to focus.
Therefore, the purpose of the whole work is to provide a harmonious and balanced, simple style environment, so that people can achieve the effect of calm and relaxation.
A zen garden has the advantage of not requiring a lot of space and does not need constant maintenance. So you should consider having a zen garden that can bring you tranquility and happiness.
Zen gardens were some of the earliest meditation water gardens designs. They use earth’s basic elements – earth, rock, water, and sky to create a setting that summons serenity at every turn. Plantings in the Zen garden make up an assorted ecosystem that’s surrounded by walls or some other means to set it off from the area surrounding it.
Zen gardens vary in their makeup according to the region of the garden. For example, a Zen garden in New York will look very different from one in California. The environment of surroundings should incorporate the elements that are designed in the garden.
Zen Garden Plants
To understand the plant design techniques of Japanese Zen gardens, it is necessary to know how the gardens treat the plants.
You need to pay attention to further exerting the characteristics of each tree. Also, you need to respect the individuality of the tree, listen to the “heart” of the tree, and draw out its greatest advantages with the existing posture.
Let the trunk be its shape without doing anything. Pay attention to showing the best shape when using it.
The plant should be planted in a balanced manner according to the overall atmosphere of the space.
Trees should be balanced with the shape of stones, mountains, and ponds, and the location of planting, the height of the trees, and their branches should be determined according to their relationship.
Like other gardens, when planting plants in Zen gardens, there are some planting matters that need to be paid attention to:
- First, determine the main tree species, and then match other tree species.
- Don’t use too many species, or the garden will look too fragmented.
- The tree shape between different tree species should be close to each other as well.
The Zen garden is based on the green in plant landscaping and tree species selection, but there are still warm and cold changes in it.
For example, the small red maple tree and the pale pink cherry tree, their wood tone is elegant, fresh, and not obtrusive, which can easily bring changes and layering to the entire courtyard, so they are the first choice for enriching the environmental color.
The Zen garden has a unique Zen mood, and the overall tone of the trees is light and elegant, so avoid using trees with a large number of gorgeous flowers, so that there will not be too much color.
Combining plants with everyday homes conveys the beautiful idea of living in harmony with nature.
Great Gardens Have Great Design
What makes a great garden so visually captivating is the thought that went into the design. When you look beyond just an abundance of colorful flowers that catches your eye or a sculpture strategically placed with just the right proportion so that it looks like it “belongs” there — you will see the designer’s hand at work. The benefits of a garden are well known, but the unseen spiritual benefits can be tapped when a garden is designed to evoke feelings that go beyond its physical beauty.
The main purpose of man-made meditation water gardens is to display a water feature along with plants and possibly fish so that it becomes a focal point of a garden or area that is used for meditation and relaxation.
Ideally, you should consider having a bamboo water feature.
When the bamboo tube is slowly filled with running water, it falls down, hits the stone beside the pond, makes a crisp “toot” sound, pours the water into the pond, and then bounces up again, and the cycle keeps ongoing.
Bamboo waterscape expresses a kind of mood and situation. When you look at the scene, you will have a moment of tranquility, and it can easily calm your mind.
Imagine that in a quiet summer, there are no clouds and you only hear the cicadas sound. It was originally monotonous and dull. But after adding the bamboo water feature, there is not only the sound of water but also the sound of landing at intervals. Many people think it is very Zen, so it later evolved into a decoration in the courtyard. In Japanese mansions, there is always such a device to show that the owner is not only distinguished but also has a special taste.
Garden statuary reminds us of what the statue symbolizes and what is important in our lives. Placing sculptures, statues and other manmade objects in the garden serve to manifest the essence of what that object symbolizes.
Placing a Buddha in a meditation garden could be to remind us to be compassionate, to be kind, or to further the illumination of our souls and the souls of others we meet.
A garden is most enhanced by being mindful of focal points which can often symbolize the sacredness of the space. Symbolism is powerful and triggers the mind to form connections between the object and the essence of the meaning.
Statuary may use metaphor to convey special meaning or as an archetypal figure such as Gnomes, Faeries, and Elves that suggest the garden is enchanted. In this way, statuary becomes a tool to make a garden sacred.