Monday, May 01, 2006

Zen Garden Design

A traditional Zen Garden includes smaller-scale scenes of the natural environment - where the ocean meets the rocky shorelines - where the streams and rivers meet the mountain side - where simplicity follows the teachings of Zen.

Creating a Zen Garden requires great patience and the ability to work with nature, rather than against it. Mosses don't grow on rock overnight - trees take many years to train - and a Zen garden takes a great deal of dedication in order to maintain its Zen simplicity. Traditionally, Zen gardens were integrated with Buddhist temples. In this way, Monks would spend their time in a kind of working meditation tending to the garden. The results were, and still are breathtaking. A visit to a temple like Ginkakuji in Kyoto reveal the masterful craft of Zen Garden design and centuries of careful maintenance of both the temple and the grounds.

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