Japanese Zen gardens have been around for a long time – Zen Buddhist monks created the first ones in the sixth century. The philosophy of Zen Buddhism preaches focusing on the inner world of a person, meditation, and achieving enlightenment. These things can be achieved by following the principles of austerity, simplicity, and naturalness. But, what is a Zen garden used for?
A Zen garden is used for reducing stress and attracting simplicity and peace into life. The original Zen gardens are dry, meaning they don’t have water elements, so the essentials are rocks, plants, and sand. You can create a life-sized Zen garden in your backyard or invest in a miniature one.
There’s not much difference between a miniature and a regular Zen garden, except the time it would take to create each. If you don’t have a backyard, you can create a mini garden and keep it indoors. Learn more about the uses and benefits of Japanese zen gardens.
What Is a Zen Garden Used For and What Are Its Benefits?
It may be difficult to see the benefits of a Zen garden, but it’s impossible to go back once you do. Zen gardens were created as meditation spaces by Zen Buddhist monks, according to seven philosophical principles of Zen.
The seven principles are austerity, simplicity, naturalness, asymmetry, allusion, elegance, and tranquility, and a Zen garden should follow most of them. If you’re only able to achieve simplicity and naturalness in yours, that’s alright.
The purpose of a Zen garden is to find peace and quiet, away from everyday noise and problems. Using a miniature garden could be more beneficial than creating one in the backyard because the mini ones are portable and affordable.
Place your miniature garden near your desk or workspace, so you can turn to it whenever you start feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Raking sand until you’re calm sounds silly, but it works since grounding and focusing on one thing at a time is the best way to cope with strong emotions.
Ideas For Creating a Miniature Zen Garden
Mini Zen gardens follow the concept of Japanese dry gardens, meaning there’s no water in them. Their Japanese name is karesansui. If you’d like to create your own, you must have the following elements:
- A square or round container,
- Fine sand – regular or colored (black or white is best,)
- Small rocks,
- A small rake or a chopstick,
- A plant (succulents are great because they’re low maintenance, but you can use air plants, moss, and even mini trees.)
You can find most of these elements around your home, but purchasing them is best if you want the garden to feel more authentic.
Achieve States of Meditation and Serenity With Japanese Zen Gardens
Now that you know that Zen gardens are used to create an environment of peace and tranquility, it may be wise to invest in one. Whether you make or buy a Zen garden, you’ll notice the benefits it provides immediately. If you’re looking for inexpensive and creative ways to reduce stress, Japanese Zen gardens are the right thing for you.