Promote Calmness and Well-Being By Creating The Perfect Zen Garden

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jay chua
Jay Chua is a successful entrepreneur and webmaster. He currently live in Vancouver, Canada. Over years, Jay has successfully developed his own online presence through web sites, blogs and various internet marketing channels. When Jay isn’t offering his advice regarding backyard retreats, gardening, or traveling, he enjoyed relaxing in his Pawleys Island Hammock, reading a few good books. If you have any questions regarding criteria of choosing a hanging porch swing or would like related information, feel free to learn more from
jay chua
jay chua
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The Arts of Zen Gardening

When you look outside today, there’s no doubt that we live in very stressful times. The hustle and bustle of the modern world can really take a toll if one doesn’t spend a bit of time each day relaxing and releasing the day’s stresses. Many have found peace in the Buddhist ideologies of Eastern philosophy, and while it may not be possible to pack up and head that direction, you can create a small piece of this relaxing concept in your very own yard. Zen Gardens are an incredible way to utilize some extra space on your property, giving you the same peaceful setting that Buddhist monks use to meditate.

With traditions that have been in existence for nearly 1000 years, Zen Buddhism has long relied on the Zen Garden to offer a period of calm and relaxation which is believed to facilitate well-being in mind and body. Those looking to capitalize on this tradition can create one of these gardens with little effort and the benefits can last a lifetime.

  • Soft Lighting To Soften Your Mood

Lighting plays a large role in creating a soothing setting. The popularity of Zen Gardens has led to increased availability in many home furnishing outlets as well as online retailers. By considering solar powered walkway lights, natural lanterns, hanging lamps, and of course candles, an area can be transformed, whisking you away from the rigors of the afternoon and placing you amidst a sea of tranquility (and we aren’t talking about the moon, here).

  • Sand Is a Focal Point

Dry gardens, as they are often called, offer a great way to spend some time with your thoughts without breaking the mood. Think of this like an adult sandbox, complete with rocks and a rake. Those looking for some meditation time can utilize this “active” form by using the wooden rake to create lines and designs amidst the rocks. The circles and forms that you create will help you reflect on your thoughts and daily activities. This kind of reflection can make a huge difference in terms of mental ease.

  • The Art of Rock Formations

Some interesting information came to light when researchers studied what made the Ryonaji Temple in Kyoto so calming. The answer shocked many as the array of rocks and moss seemed to maintain a random element yet had such a strong effect on visitors’ mood. Upon further review, the “random” design actually outlined the branches of a tree, creating a “growth” or “oneness” feeling.

Utilizing river rocks to line pathways or separate sections of the Zen garden offers a soothing sensation, as the perfectly formed synthetically cut barriers tend to crash the “soothing” element of the garden itself. Simplicity is everything when you’re designing this kind of area, so keep it light and remember that the goal is to make things look like it happened by random chance.

  • Utilize Running Water

Nothing soothes the soul

like the sound of running water, and when creating a Zen garden, this feature is often neglected. Many believe that creating this effect is quite costly, but there are ways to achieve this end without breaking the bank. Small, self-contained fountains can be placed on a bench or table and can be purchased at many home improvement stores. For those with a bit of ambition, a waterfall that feeds into a small pond can do wonders for the visual and audible aesthetic of your area. A simple search online can generate any number of Do-It-Yourself kits. Consider placing some Koi fish in the pond to add a bit of life to the garden, as well.

  • Pick the Right Plants!

Many Japanese Zen Gardens are light on the foliage, however there are certain selections that can help you maintain the Far Eastern feel. Japanese maples come in a couple of varieties with large, broad leaves or smaller, finger-like leaves. These beautiful maroon colored trees will generate a soothing effect right off the bat! Water irises, Dogwoods, or Japanese apricots will also help you accent the area properly. For the added aesthetic, consider a bonsai tree, as the hobby has been known to nurture the soul. Once the plants are placed, a single Buddha statue can add a tasteful edge to your new escape.

  • Using the Right Music

Traditional Japanese music can really help you get into the meditation mood, and these pieces are not hard to find. A trip to the local Wal-mart can generation a wide variety of “zen” music options, and when you have the melodies gently flowing through the air, your mood is complete!

  • Use Feng Shui And Relax

Place a small bench in the area for some quiet sitting time (hammock swings work wonders), and when you are completing the layout of your Zen garden, be sure to consult with the ancient art of Feng Shui. Designed to encourage the proper flow of “Chi” energy, you can utilize all of the elements that have benefitted Japanese culture for generations. Use winding paths in lieu of straight walkways, use shrubs or bamboo to offer privacy, mix colors and sizes of the different garden elements, always utilize soft lighting in darker areas, and of course, don’t over-clutter the area. These key points will pay dividends when you are enjoying the peace and quiet of your new Zen garden.

Nothing helps relieve stress quite like some peace and quiet, and when you have created a scene like we’ve discussed here, you’ll be able to escape the rigors of the daily grind any time you see fit. Your backyard is now a work of art”¦enjoy it!

Close-Up Thought:

Summer is always short! I always enjoyed relaxing at my mini backyard with my favorite piece of outdoor furniture – a wooden porch swing on a Mayan Hammock stand. Hope this article helps you find some inspiration when comes to designing your dream Zen garden.