Zen philosophy

Zen philosophy: general information

Zen philosophy, applied to the creation of gardens, follows very specific rules. This type of gardens refers to what is called Zen culture. An environment where you can try your inner well-being thanks to the right arrangement of the natural elements. Generally speaking, through Zen philosophy, places are created that follow the seasons and change in relation to the universe. All natural environments are different from each other but in all there is a sense of calm and peace. The Zen garden par excellence is the Karesansui. It consists of two elements: sand (not the traditional one) and stones; it is very simple and easy to recreate; however, it is necessary to take into account the basic principles of Zen. Each element has a precise meaning, as well as the continuous lines drawn on the sand, the position and conformation of the rocks, the creation of fountains etc. .

Zen philosophy: elements and their meaning

The Zen philosophy associated with the creation of gardens is expressed through the use of natural elements capable of expressing the conditions of one’s inner state. It uses three main elements, such as: water, rocks and greenery. Water is a symbol of life, it can be introduced into your garden through ponds or fountains; according to the realization of the fountain a very precise sound is reproduced. Without this element one cannot do without and it must flow from east to west or remain stationary. Ponds and fountains represent economic fortune; if one exceeds the sources of water, this means weeping. The rocks must be arranged in such a way as to suggest that this has always been their position. Around them, and throughout the garden, lines can be created in the sand; if wavy they symbolize the presence of a lucky dragon. Green is used to ward off negative energy, such as trees or wooden fences. It is good to remember that it is not convenient to plant a tree with thorns as the latter carry negative energies.

Zen philosophy: what it means to create a Zen garden

In the latter period there is a greater approach to what is called Zen philosophy, and through it the number of Zen gardens that are created every year increase. However, before proceeding with the creation of this type of gardens, it is necessary to have acquired the knowledge of the bases of this culture, the meaning of all the elements and how to combine them. The maintenance of a Zen garden is not complex, also because it is a very minimalist and essential structure, which creates a sort of connection with our innermost part. After having documented, you can proceed with the construction of this type of gardens. It is always useful to remember that the garden must approach the seasons,

Zen philosophy: types of Zen gardens

Having acquired the typically oriental Zen philosophy, it is convenient to be made aware of the presence of more Zen gardens. All with different aesthetic characteristics but with the same basic principles of typically oriental culture. Among the main types of gardens are: dry, Japanese, tea ceremony and modern meditation ones. In the West, the external space of one’s home does not have a real meaning on the contrary, it serves only and exclusively to embellish the external area. In the East, it takes on a much deeper meaning and use than is commonly thought. The dry Zen garden (Karesansui) is mainly composed of sand and rocks. The Japanese garden is mainly made up of mosses, fountains, bridges and trees that bloom exclusively in spring. The tea ceremony garden is composed of a stone paved path, surrounded by evergreen trees and mosses, and a humble cottage that is very rustic and minimal. Finally, the meditation garden must be strictly composed of white marble sand, the rocks must be odd and well rounded.

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