The human soul aspires to inner peace that can be offered by a Zen rock garden
A Desktop Zen Seascape-- in a Tray
. Daily rituals of work, commuting, travel and survival can be highly stressful, with the result that the average person in society is rushed, worried, over worked, stressed, and finds very little time for meditation and self-reflection.
A Zen garden correctly built can offer
a focal point to begin the clearing of the mind, a reduction of tension stress and lowering of the rate of heartbeat.
The mind may be calmed by intentionally creating a scene of tranquility.
A Zen garden should be square or rectangular.
It can be built on a desktop, a balcony, a patio, a raised deck, or down on the grass in the back yard. The point of observation should be established to allow one to sit undisturbed, to observe the tranquility offered by the vision created .
The scene can be optimized and harmonized
specifically to be observed from an optimal and chosen point of view, which may be from a deck, a patio, or from a window inside the home
if desired. A window beside an established bonsai nook, for example, may enable one to view the Zen garden and those stately, diminutive trees at the same time, helping to further transport the mind to a state of peace and tranquility.
Detail -Zen rock Seascape
Here is how to build your own Zen garden.
- The size and location must be decided. A Zen garden can even be built inside the home in a convenient location. A miniature Zen garden less than one foot square complete with rocks, sand, and other details on a table or desktop-- can offer amazing tranquilty. Consider constructing a Zen rock seascape--truly a desktop ocean complete with cliffs and rocks, -- even with that tiny scale, the "waves" and cliffs create a peaceful scene, and with quiet concentration and reflection, induce tranquility.
Let's Build Your Zen Garden!
For this project, we will construct an exterior Zen garden or Japanese rock garden in the back yard, and will arbitrarily choose the size 6' x8', a size which will fit easily into most back yards. It could just as easily be 4'x4' or 8' x 8'.
You will need:
- Rocks of various sizes ( Natural beach or river cobbles are perfect, choose smoothed, water-worn rocks for the best and most calming effect. )
- Clean, medium fine sand (the amounts will vary depending upon the size of project)
- Clean, uniform, medium coarse gravel. (Optional)
- A square of black plastic or ground fabric.
- A constructed frame to contain your structure. (Framing may be made of various materials, for instance, pressure treated boards, 2x4's or landscaping timbers. For a small, desk or table-top sized zen garden, find or build a shallow, simple, wooden box.)
- Garden rake, shovel, and hoe
Build the Outside Zen garden:
1. Lay out and orient the area chosen
- A saw, hammer, and rust-proof (anodized or galvanized) nails or screws.
for your rock garden. Outline it with pickets and adjust it for the optimal viewing position, for instance, to be observed from your deck.
2. Cover the area with the ground cloth or black plastic
to prevent weeds from emerging and destroying the tranquility of the scene. (Alternatively, you may excavate the area to a shallow depth, for instance, to equal the depth of your framing enclosure, for instance, 3" depth for 2x4's, and line it with ground fabric)
3. Install the frame
, ensuring that no ground fabric or plastic is visible outside of the frame.
4. Fill the frame to level with the sand or gravel
as desired. Create a "beach" by laying a distinctive line of gravel opposing a bed of sand if desired.
5. Place rocks of various sizes in groups as desired, imitating the randomness of nature
. Place the biggest rocks closest to the observer to enhance the illusion and perspective of distance. Remember to "submerge" some of the rocks
in the sand, and add other features judiciously as desired, for instance feature rocks covered with moss, logs,
or other chosen features. Create an island
, or series of islands
, using various sized rocks and cobbles, with sandy beaches
' around them.
6. Rake the sand level and smooth
, then create "waves" in it, or ripples, perhaps parallel to the "shore" as might be observed in nature until the wind changes. Remember the concept of simplicity and peacefulness is the objective, so do not allow the appearance to be choppy or "cluttered".
7. Avoid adding unnatural looking items
. Although the temptation may be to add many artificial details, statues, small boat models, and other features, they can be distracting to the peacefulness and karma of the setting. Avoid clutter.
If certain features make you happy, do add them as you wish, keeping in mind at all times that earth colours and simplicity
encourage purity of mind and peacefulness. Here's the same zen rock garden set up. See?
Regardless of the size of garden
Zen Tranquil Sea in Miniature
you have constructed, enjoy it,
and change the wave pattern
as often as you wish. Set up wet or dry. A great part of the enjoyment of a Zen garden is designing the scene to appear both natural and peaceful
. Do so with skill, clarity of mind, and enjoy the tranquility you have created
Is that Incoming I hear?
Photo credits: W.L.K. Photography