Meditation has been a spiritual practice of Eastern religions for thousands of years. It allows the practitioner to become still and mindful by consciously breathing and being present. It is an effective way to clear your head, get grounded, and gain strength in this hectic, chaotic modern world. It can even help physically by lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, improving general brain function, and lessening pain & inflammation.
Meditation has now found its way to the west and mainstream culture. As meditating continues to gain in popularity, so do meditation gardens at home. A special garden is central to meditation for fostering the desired quiet, calming atmosphere – away from distractions and noise. This is where a practitioner can relax, and achieve the peace and harmony they seek.
Creating A Sanctuary
Your meditation garden should be a private, soothing, and serene area in your yard. You want to feel comfortable, safe, protected. Make it personal.
As with any home project, understand what you can afford and make a budget. Building beyond your means will create stress, which is the opposite of what you are trying to do.
To begin, find a quiet corner of your yard, and separate this outdoor room with a fence or gate, movable screens, or a shrub border. You can also enhance or block views with your dividers.
The design and materials should be simple, natural, and low maintenance. You are trying to get away from the busyness of daily life, and reflect on the simplicity of nature. A chaotic or cluttered garden will keep you from achieving a sense of calm. Think of your meditation garden as your perfect inner landscape.
Additions To Make Your Meditation Garden Unique
- Make a pathway of stone, gravel, bricks, or pavers that leads to a seating area. Put in a bench, hammock, or yoga mat, perhaps in a gazebo or under a pergola.
- Add a water feature, such as a fountain, pond, bird bath, or simple water bowl. Water is cleansing and calming. Use baritone wind chimes or meditation bells for gentle sound. Some wind chimes are very hypnotic.
- Add boulders, rock gardens and other rock features like a labyrinth to offer a sense of grounding.
- Add plants with minimal color for simplicity. Create visual interest with texture and shape. Choose plants with definitive structure like grasses, evergreens and gnarled or weeping trees. Native plants are low maintenance and will attract native birds and bees. Plant fragrant lavender to help with relaxation.
- Build an altar or add sculptures of spiritual figures who are important to you.
Try visiting meditation gardens in your area. When you travel, seek them out – check botanical gardens, ashrams, and yoga centers. Scour websites, such as this Japanese Garden near Los Angeles, and books for ideas.
Make the sanctuary unique to you with plants, objects, structures, and hardscaping that resonate with you. The only rule is to create a space where you can reflect on the beauty and simplicity of nature and your inner self.