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What Is The Symbolism Behind Japanese Sand Gardens And How You Can Create You Own?


Japanese sand gardens have a unique nature to them, which might seem quite surprising and bewildering to the rest of the world. The unique quality that we are talking about is the near absence of greenery in these sand gardens. There is very little plant life and no garden ornaments, it's almost like a desert landscape.

You might wonder how can they be called gardens if there neither plants nor flowers. To understand the concept of sand gardens you need to understand a deeper concept that comes from the ancient Japanese culture where things are more in the abstract than in the actual. These gardens were designed and created by monks of in their temples and shrines to help them to meditate. These gardens are associated with Zen Buddhism - where a great deal of emphasis is put on meditation.

Surrounded by walls the monks are cut-off from the outside world. Using the sand gardens the monks conceptualized nature using sand, rocks and gravel. The gravel is raked in order to create the illusion of water rippling and flowing. The rocks and stones are arranged artistically to represent hills and mountains beyond. The rocks, stones and gravel used to represent the various facets of nature are chosen with great care by the creator or designer to accurately depict what he wants to represent. These sand gardens are waterless, pondless creations devoid of plants and yet appealing in many ways.

The sand and gravel are raked in different patterns to show water as either placid, flowing fast or swirling or direction of flow. You to use a paver to pave the paths and clean and rake your Japanese sand garden every day. Maintenance is an important aspect of any garden.

Similarly the stones are used to convey different meanings. In some they may represent hills and in another it may represent a battle scene or a story from the ancient past. The arrangement of the stones can tell you myriad tales. The tallest rock in the arrangement will be for Buddha. The smaller stones can represent followers, animals or his children.

As these are meditative gardens the traditional Japanese will not enter a formal sand garden and instead observe the whole effect from outside. They would not want to disturb the delicate composition by entering the picture. Some gardens have a bench or chair place in such a way that a visitor can sit down and observe the whole tableaux and meditate on it.

Once the concept behind a Japanese sand garden many people have wholeheartedly adopted it as measured by its popularity. Some use it to practice meditation others love the beauty and extraordinary nature of these gardens, which is not found in the western culture or landscape. Creating Japanese sand gardens can be calming and satisfying experience for the body and soul. These gardens can be created to occupy your entire back yard or occupy a tiny corner on your desk or even as a center piece of your outdoor patio. What is important is creating a landscape that is appealing to the eye with clean and neat flowing lines and artistically places objects representing nature or scene from the past.

To create this small tabletop Zen garden all you need is a container or four wooden retaining walls to enclose the sand garden and arrange your different decorative pieces in it.

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