The Japanese Sand Garden
The Japanese sand garden is a unique tool that can assist you in letting go of the accumulated tensions and anxieties of day to day challenges.
History of the Zen Garden
Japanese gardening started in the 6th century when the idea of hill and pond gardens was brought over from China and Korea. The Japanese Buddhist monks expanded the idea and created temple gardens where they could go for religious reasons. Karesansui or dry-landscape, the oldest form of Zen gardening, began to evolve when Zen priests modified the gardens to serve a different purpose. They were to be used to create a greater understanding of the essence of Buddhist teachings.
Elements of a Zen Garden
Rocks are the most important part of a Zen garden. They are a symbol of many different things, depending on its shape, color or texture. The gravel, sand and small pebbles are for meditation. The sand is designed to look like running water which gives energy to the garden. Plants can be used in Zen gardens too. A particular plant can have a particular meaning. Plants can be used to accent one another or to bring wholeness to the garden. They also bring emotion, color and texture. But Zen gardens imitate nature and prearranged flowers are not found in nature; therefore, plants are used very carefully. In addition to natural elements, things such as pathways, bridges, or lanterns can be used in a Zen garden. Pathways and bridges enhance the emphasis Buddhists put on posture, by allowing a visitor to follow the path of Buddha. They are designed from philosophical doctrines to allow a visitor to see sights from all different angles. Lanterns are made from natural material such as wood or stone and provide a quite place to meditate.