Imagine creating your own sacred space – a refuge where all tension and anxiety leaves the body and the mind is calm and relaxed almost immediately upon entry. Zen gardens don’t have to be overly elaborate or complicated. No matter the size of your space; you can create one that works for you.
Zen gardens can be prepared inside or outdoors, they can be held on a table top, or take up an entire garden space. No matter what you have to work with, elements of these sacred spaces can be developed anywhere.
Zen Garden Item Ideas
Sand or gravel
Soothing fabrics or cushions
Most zen gardens have sand or gravel as one of the elements. Outdoors, this may be placed around the perimeter of the garden or around trees. A special rake is used to form evenly spaced lines through the sand that flow gently around other items like rocks or trees. A miniature version of this can be created indoors and placed on an altar or tabletop. Build or purchase a small wooden box and fill it with sand or gravel and any other elements you desire. Keep the appearance neat by raking as often as needed to keep the lines clear and well defined. They represent the flow of energy.
Involve as many natural elements as you can. A soft glow from the flame of a candle or flicker of a lantern can help enhance meditation indoors. Ensure your garden is in a location where the air flows freely. Avoid “stuffy” rooms or locations that can stifle the natural flow of energy.
Water features are also very useful. Water facilitates the flow of energy. The sound of running water is soothing and helps calm the mind, ease emotions and bring greater focus. Water fountains can be used indoor and outdoors. Some choose to build waterfalls and fountains in their garden area. This can be as simple or elaborate as your space allows.
Elements of nature are essential in a zen garden. When we reconnect with the natural world, it is a grounding and healing experience. Stones, green plants and other items help reestablish this connection. Go for a walk and find river stones or rocks you can use from your local area and display them. If you choose, add crystals and semi-precious stones that have healing properties. Tourmaline and Quartz are fantastic for absorbing and transforming energies.
Include soft, soothing colors that calm the mind and relieve excitability. Colors found in nature are ideal: blues, browns, and greens all connect us to various healing and grounding energies. Avoid colors that are excessively bright or stimulating – soft and subdued are best for creating a meditative space.
When planning your Zen garden, whether it’s tiny or a large space, ensure that the location is one that promotes tranquility and is free from loud noise or other distractions. Your zen garden should invoke feelings of peace the moment you set eyes on it. It is a sanctuary designed to help you reconnect spiritually.