Introducing Awestruck Biophilic Design - bringing the outdoors indoors through the exploration of wellbeing

The Beauty of a Zen Garden

Zen gardens have always been associated with serenity, calm, well being, and balance and we can all do with a bit of that right now.  While they were originally used by ancient Buddhists for meditation, during this COVID year of lockdowns, and social distancing the peace and resulting wellbeing created by Zen Gardens make them an ideal Biophilic feature in any home or office.

 

Japanese Garden Image Credit - Digsdigs
Japanese Garden Image Credit - Digsdigs

 

Zen, the state of being peaceful and relaxed,  is not always easy to attain however a calming Zen feature of rock formations, sand tracings and exquisite Bonsais make them an ideal low maintenance garden.

 

Zen Garden, Image Credit - Financial Times
Zen Garden, Image Credit - Financial Times 

 

Origins

The Zen garden originated  as a combination of Indian Buddhism and Japan Taoism in the 6th Century, and has generated a surge of interest in the West relatively recently. The belief of Zen is that perfection is unattainable, yet simplicity is perfect and the stillness around us and the world should be embraced.

Japanese Gardens Image Credit - The Adachi Museum Garden in Yasugi designed by  Zenkō Adachi in 1970 during the Shōwa Period, shows how scenery and plants were manipulated to look like a traditional East Asian painting. Photography: Malcolm RaggettThe Adachi Museum Garden in Yasugi designed by  Zenkō Adachi in 1970 during the Shōwa Period, shows how scenery and plants were manipulated to look like a traditional East Asian painting. Photography: Malcolm RaggettThe Adachi Museum Garden in Yasugi designed by  Zenkō Adachi in 1970 during the Shōwa Period, shows how scenery and plants were manipulated to look like a traditional East Asian painting. Photography: Malcolm RaggettThe Adachi Museum Garden in Yasugi designed by  Zenkō Adachi in 1970 during the Shōwa Period, shows how scenery and plants were manipulated to look like a traditional East Asian painting. Photography: Malcolm RaggettThe Adachi Museum Garden in Yasugi designed by  Zenkō Adachi in 1970 during the Shōwa Period, shows how scenery and plants were manipulated to look like a traditional East Asian painting. Photography: Malcolm Raggett
The Adachi Museum Garden in Yasugi designed by  Zenkō Adachi in 1970 during the Shōwa Period, shows how scenery and plants were manipulated to look like a traditional East Asian painting.Photography: Malcolm Raggett

 

The Function of Rocks, Trees and Plants in a Zen Garden

The Zen garden (Japanese Rock Garden) normally consists of sandpits with rocks, plants, grass and natural elements such as bamboo, moss, colourful trees and flowers. The garden represents various calming elements in our environment, while the sand patterns are used to signify water and is designed to look like the ripples in a stream.  Each Zen garden is unique, and its soothing ambience offers different perspectives in a mindful, reflective space. 

 

Create your own Zen Garden, Image Credit - Digthisdesign
Create your own Zen Garden, Image Credit - Digthisdesign 

 How to Create your own Zen Garden

The Benefits of Zen Meditation

Now let’s move on to the benefits of meditating in your Zen Garden. Zen mediation can provide both mental and psychological benefits. 
  • Deep breathes regenerate our oxygen levels in our body 
  • Our blood flow is encouraged away from our sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling our flight or fight behaviours decreasing depression levels.
  • We can experience increased creativity
  • Feeling of happiness and joy are raised
  • stress levels are lowered
  • energy and productivity are boosted 

 

Facing House Designed by © MANIERA ARCHITECTS & ASSOCIATES CO (Image Credit)
Facing House Designed by © MANIERA ARCHITECTS & ASSOCIATES CO (Image Credit)
Tanagata-cho, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture,Image Credit - Eidai House
Tanagata-cho, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture,Image Credit - Eidai House 

 

Benefits of having a Zen Garden at Home

Having a Zen garden at home requires the same or less physical input as having a regular garden. Caring for your Zen garden is both a great way to exercise and a known stress reliever.  The plants recycle oxygen back into our lives, and there is the added benefit of being able to view greenery and plants, which are not only beautiful, but actually calm us.  Its a win-win-win situation.

 

Japanese Zen Garden, Image Credit -Robert Izumi
Japanese Zen Garden, Image Credit -Robert Izumi

 

With a  Zen garden you get to reduce your stress levels and increase relaxation, which are key to maintaining both productivity and health. Lastly, remember to make time for a Zen garden in order to reap those amazing benefits.

 

Create Peace and Tranquility in your Zen Garden , Image Credit - James Weber
Create Peace and Tranquility in your Zen Garden , Image Credit - James Weber