The Zen garden is intimately linked to Japanese Zen culture, a place where one can rediscover one's own well-being surrounded by essential and meaningful natural elements. The appearance of the garden follows the succession of the seasons, it is a continuous evolution, just as the universe is constantly changing. Although designed to follow a well-established cyclical rhythm, it is a place of extreme calm and peace. There is no single style of Japanese garden to define it, they are all very different from each other, and each has its own specific meaning, but the one linked to the art of traditional gardening is the Karesansui. Also known as a dry garden, it is essentially composed of two elements: Stones and white sand. It is a very minimalist and essential garden but there are different ones, which have evolved from Zen Buddhism. The garden in Zen philosophy creates a real landscape, where each element is an expression of a concept. You don't need too big a space but the important thing is to know the fundamental principles of Zen culture so that the garden is truly unique. The sand here is not the classic one that we know of but white granite capable of illuminating even the nearby areas. The rake is a rather important tool that is used to create lines, the line must be drawn without ever stopping the rake itself, creating harmonious paths. These traced lines are not certain without meaning but they represent paths that often revolve around the boulders that symbolize the passage from the sea to reach another point of view. Contemplation is aided precisely by these elements which, as we have seen, are full of meaning.
The meaning of the elements
In a Zen garden, water is a natural element, represented in the form of waterfalls or fountains. In the case of waterfalls, particular attention is also paid to the way the water flows, there are so many different ways that the sound produced by the water that then breaks against the stones is always different. This is not a noise but a sound that certainly helps to relax. The fountains or ponds are elements that can bring economic fortune but be careful because too many water sources could cause too many tears to spill. Negative energy must be removed from the house with trees or wooden fences. Even the ground around the house expresses something, for example if it is flat there is no dragon if it is wavy there are good luck dragons. Trees, even if they indicate development, must always be perfectly pruned, avoiding the use of thorny plants because they bring negative energy.
Zen garden philosophy: What a Zen garden represents
The so minimalist and rigorous aspect of the Zen garden leads to essentiality and to the search for how much simpler it dwells in us. Taking care of a Zen garden is quite simple, making lines with a rake is the only thing possible in front of a dry garden. Religion and the garden find an intense association, and although their appearance may make them look like modern gardens, their origins are really ancient. In recent years we are approaching in a more interested way to Zen culture and philosophy, it makes no sense to create a similar garden if we do not really know its meaning and value. Before deciding to create a Zen garden it is important to read up on what is the philosophy and the profound meaning that lies behind every element and behind the precise disposition of it. The history of the Zen garden teaches how it can become one with culture and how it is possible to maintain this tradition that has been handed down for centuries. To approach the Zen philosophy we need to share its principles and start a path that is able to approach in a profound way to all the reality of this world in a convinced way. The garden here becomes a place for reflection and meditation, which is why it must be in perfect harmony with the changing seasons and must be able to transmit serenity. Eastern culture teaches that only by living as it is can one have the joy to savor the experience of everyday life. Concepts which, to be internalized, must be predisposed to want to approach the Zen philosophy in order to know a different reality from the more rational one to which Western thought is more accustomed.