Saturday, March 02, 2013

Dan Piraro on Zen Garden School

Comment: I am fascinated by Zen gardens.  If I had my druthers then Number 11's garden would be turned into a Zen garden with cacti as the background.  

Oh I would say Bonsai as background but it would get stolen in the delusional dustbin of the Northern Cape.

This Zen garden is said to be the most famous example in Japan:

The Zen garden at Ryoan-ji (Temple of the Dragon at Peace), in Kyoto.  

The garden was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.  Its rectangular design dates back 5 centuries and it contains 15 stones/boulders.  All Zen gardens contain an odd number of stones.  Only 14 stones/boulders are visible to the eye from any angle - usually seated.  

It is said that to see the 15th stone enlightenment must be reached.

Since a Zen garden is a dry garden the only greenery is the moss that surrounds the stones/boulders. 

The three part wall is part of the garden.  It is described as "earthen" on the Ryoan-ji website.  The garden also tilts to the southeast corner for water drainage.  The wall is shortened on the opposite side to give the appearance that the garden is perfectly level.

Geez hey, and I have been struggling just to grow Kikuyu grass at Number 11.

There is meaning in all of this symbolism.  It will no-doubt take me the rest of my lifetime to figure out some of that meaning.  But is that not the way of Zen?

So I am going to start my quest to learn more and also for a Zen garden at Number 11 in a small way.  

It will be my own Zen Garden School in miniature.  Kinda like so:

Can't get into too much trouble going portable huh?

I feel enlightenment calling my name already.

Wonder if the Guru is up for a trip to Kyoto?

Ryoan-ji Credit
 Portable Zen garden Credit

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