Monday, July 18, 2011

Zen Gardens, Zen Mind

Zen has one aim: to encourage us to take a closer look at all that is around us in the hope that once we develop a more intense insight, we will cherish and nurture this earth and its inhabitants. We learn to acquire a heightened awareness. Zen sharpens our senses, intensifies our perceptions and enriches our experiences. Every day events take on a new meaning. The ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary.
The following are some pictures of parts of my Zen gardens. Now you will see how I spend some my spring and summer days.


Tsukubai: Water basin -- for purification, so one can enter pure of mind and body
When we practice Zen we embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Stone lantern: for illumination

Be alive,
be here -- and know
the beat of your heart.


Small pond in front with goldfish.
All Zen asks is that we live our lives with compassion, creativity and a deep respect for all living things. There is a close connection with nature. Nature and human creativity are synonymous.
For Zen, art that depicts nature is considered an affirmation of life.


This bird bath is a new addition to my gardens.

This large rusty ball is a new addition to my garden

Zen is an experience for a way of life-- not a belief. Zen is passive-- it relies on us to teach ourselves.

The sound of silence: the stone garden
Zen wants us to pay full attention to the smallest details in life-- to be mindful of everything we do. Zen deals with the present. Life is too precious to waste.

Zen is about enjoying the simple things. At the heart of Zen there is the need for harmony and balance in life. To free the mind is to free the spirit... the resulting clarity of perception is just one of Zen's rewards.
Large pond in back with very large koi.

No thought
no form
only emptiness...
the joy of silence.

Water in the garden helps offset the weight of stone and provides melody, movement, and open, reflective zones.

Zen gardens are an attempt to control nature -- a balance between life forces in the natural world and the harmony and order in Zen. Gardens also want to provide a physical setting for quiet contemplation and mediation.


Stone, sand and rock
reveal the mysteries
of time.

The art of the inner work, which unlike the outer does not forsake the artist, which he does not "do and can only "be", springs from the depths of which the day knows nothing.
----- Eugene Herrigei, Zen in the Art of Archery


44 comments:

Studio Sylvia said...

Such tranquil spaces to ponder and wonder. Much inspitation too.
Beautiful Donna.

mano said...

what a wonderful garden - all places are so inspiring and created for body and soul. thank you for sharing!

petras kunstblog said...

the photos are sooo beautiful. How it must only be, to go through this garden? Fantastically.
I like the collage again very much.
Thanks Donna and greetings.

Ian Foster said...

I love your collage and your garden is sensational, I must admit to being deeply envious.

Lynn said...

Beautiful collage, Donna.
And, like Ian, I'm terribly envious of your garden!
Thank you for the gorgeous tour.

lyle baxter said...

Donna, thanks for sharing pictures of your garden! It is peaceful just looking at the photos! I love sitting in my garden, hearing the water in the little pond and watching the birds bathe and drink.
one can become lost in thought!

Ro Bruhn said...

Your garden is a true haven, a beautiful place of calm.

Barry said...

Hi D - is it OK in Zen terms to have a wee bit of Zen garden envy? I can see why you would want to be outside in the garden's tranquilness. Mind you these spring shots are very different to the pristine white of winter in your garden. Thanks for sharing both the different aspects of your garden and the simple reminder of Zen - I think the words - finding the extraordinary in the ordinary are true. Go well. B

sukipoet said...

beautiful collage and as others have said before me, such an exquisite garden. so interesting that i have no envy. i am satisfied with seeing the beauty and maybe being inspired to create a garden myself.

i do feel envy sometimes so it is not that i dont feel it sometimes. but i am just so happy you have a home and took the time to create this beauty and are sharing it with me/us.

Noela Mills said...

Hi Donna,
thanks for reminding me about the essence of my true expression - sometimes difficult to stay on the path of Zen - glad I have you to remind me xoxoxo

annell said...

All is Zen! Beautiful post.

yvette said...

zen.........

Donna, always a hapy happening to be here...

but not loning to go outsite if you are insite and vica versa not zen...

Suz said...

amen

iNd!@nA said...

homage.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Beautiful new additions to your garden Donna. I love the big basket of round rocks.
The hours you spend in spring and summer to create this beautiful garden are richly rewarded with the beauty you surround yourself with.
My attitude is one of gratitude for each day on this planet, at least when my mind is in a flowing positive place. Zen is a reminder that there are no rules, only appreciation, renewed over and over like a flowing stream.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

P.S. What a stunning new collage! Love the gentleness. And also thanks for the William James quote.

Cynthia Schelzig said...

Your painting is wonderful and such a picturesque garden you show us...just beatiful. As always, I really enjoy your posts.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I find serenity and peace whenever I visit your posts...what a lovely garden filled with the quiet simplicity of your gardens. Have a glorious week creating. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Suzanne said...

I love your Zen garden.
Many years ago I found a book about drawing called "The Zen Of Seeing" by Frederick Frank. I find his way of drawing outside to be a wonderful way to still the mind.

Anonymous said...

Donna,
15 minutes of breathing in the Zen of your images and words were the perfect way to bring myself back to peace this morning. For some reason, your notation: "The sound of silence: the rock garden" resonated in me.
Also,I love your new website design!
Pat

Deborah said...

It must be so lovely and peaceful to be there.

r.bohnenkamp said...

wonderful collage Donna!
and beautiful zen garden
he exudes a lot of rest

lynda Howells said...

no wonder you want to be in your Zen garden all the time and when not..thinking about it. I live in a flat and that is what l really miss these days..is a gardenxxx

Jo Murray said...

Looks like you have a peaceful and inspiring retreat in your Zen garden. It must be wonderful for renewing your spirit.

ZenDotStudio said...

I am so inspired to see your garden!! I am taking a break from digging out rotten railway ties from the my front garden which I hope to transform over time into a Zen like garden. Your space is truly gorgeous and filled with wonderful food for thought as I create my space. What a wonderful contemplative space to spend time. No wonder you have disappeared into the garden! Many bows to you!

Kelly Marszycki said...

always wonderful to visit your blog - don't know how I missed that piece on the side bar: the placement of papers is like the setting of stones -- :)

Valerianna said...

I like how your collage echos the strong vertical and cylindrical forms of your garden... and I love all the stones.

Oh... how funny, I think my word verification is part of a Zen koan - "untest"!

Jill Zaheer said...

What beautiful poetic photographs of your garden and all of the gorgeous scenes within it. Love the rustic feel of stones, water, sculptures and organized presence of peace all around. Will have to read more on Zen- thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

Cynthia Monica said...

Such beauty, peace and tranquility...thank you!

ArtPropelled said...

I'm feeling all the tension in my shoulders beginning to relax as I read this post. Your garden is so beautiful, Donna. A lot of hard work as well as the enjoyment of gardening has certainly paid off. Lovely collage!

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

I love your fish and your basket of rocks. Thanks for the tour!

L'Atelier 261 said...

Votre blog est magnifique : votre travail,la spiritualité qui s'en dégage. Une atmosphère riche, apaisante,une superbe esthétique, bravo et merci pour ces instants de paix. Mireille

grrl + dog said...

I wish I knew more

when I began one about 15 years ago,

clearly its a journey.

I remember Baxter as a pup eating the handle of the water feature.

rivergardenstudio said...

"Stone, sand and rock reveal the mysteries of time." Your words are lovely and so are your gardens. I really love your collage too! roxanne

Aeria said...

This was a wonderful treat to stumble across and enjoy! I loved reading along with the photos of your beautiful gardens. I look forward to visiting again :)
Aeria

lyle baxter said...

p.s. everything you do seems to be effortless and calm even changing your email, blog and website addresses. thanks for the heads up!I cant believe it was that simple behind the scenes!

Sharmon Davidson said...

Just beautiful- peaceful and inspirational. It is a work of art and of the spirit; thank you for letting us enter.

neva gagliano said...

new dream!
visiting the northwest
and all the goodness
offered there.
it could happen!

LauraX said...

thank you for this gentle journey!

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

Donna...thanks for sharing these lovely garden spaces. Such a wonderful post....calming, reassuring and nurturing....maybe we'll turn our garden areas into something much more zen! Best wishes, Patti

Sweetpea said...

Donna, our gardens are so different! I wonder if my mind is in total chaos? After reading your description of Zen, I find myself asking lots of questions.
Sure is lovely over here...

Sue said...

It must be so relaxing just wandering around this garden or resting somewhere. And your collages mirror this calmness, they are very meditative. Beautiful work!

yvette said...

thanks for your mail and for your beautiful comment.

love

Joy Logan said...

Fabulousssssssssss garden spots...mine is a tiny zen garden in need of a statue.