Zen Gardens: The Benefits and How to Make One

Zen gardens not only make you feel calm, but also stimulate concentration and activity. We'll tell you how to make one in this article.
Zen Gardens: The Benefits and How to Make One

Last update: 15 August, 2021

You can apprciate the beauty of Zen gardens throughout the world and especially in Japan. Not only are they beautiful, but they have several benefits. For this reason, more and more green areas are inspired by this style, or incorporate some of the characteristic karesansui, the Japanese name referring to the Zen garden.

The combination of natural elements in open spaces generates a feeling of tranquility, both for those who see them and those who build them. The best part is that you don’t need a lot of space. In fact, some people have one on a table in their home or at the office.

Do you know what elements you should incorporate in your Zen garden? What about the benefits they have for your life?

Find out below!

Benefits of Zen gardens

Simplicity, beauty, aesthetics, and a pleasant atmosphere are just some of the benefits that these exotic gardens can offer you. Now, we’ll show you some of their other benefits.

1. Serenity and immediate relaxation

Being in or around these spaces creates a sense of peace. This is because of the different components in them are all very intentional. It creates a corner that helps relieve stress from daily responsibilities.

These Japanese gardens manage to reduce tension just by looking at them. So, the gravel or sand in these spaces symbolize the sea. The rocks that stand out on the surface represent a lioness and her cubs.

When making it, you should draw the sand around the stones in an undulating way. This relaxing activity can help clear the mind of worries. Also, the action of combing the sand and rearranging the elements promotes meditation.

Garden tools next to flowers.

2. You can put them anywhere

By not being tied to a certain size, you can fit them in any space in your apartment or office, without ruling out any room. This way, you can even make a mini Japanese garden.

With this, you will definitely bring a natural and positive energy. Additionally, you will have a relaxation practice at your fingertips whenever you need it.

3. Greater discipline and concentration

This practice can help you increase and perfect your levels of meditation. In turn, this will help you develop the skills you need to stay focused and be more disciplined to achieve your goals.

4. Stimulate creativity

Zen gardens can increase the creativity of the people who use them, as well as improve the ability to solve problems. Constantly reorganizing the elements and plowing the sand creating different lines and shapes tend to stimulate and increase meditation levels, helping create new ideas.

5. Zen gardens embellish, balance, and create energy flow

They can be very diverse because each owner gives them a personal touch. For this reason, you can come across very simple, but beautiful, gardens. On the contrary, some have exotic plants, imported sand and collectible figures, creating a stunning display.

6. You can have your own pet in the garden

Water isn’t in all Zen gardens, especially mini ones. However, if your Zen garden is outside, try including a water well or artificial waterfall in your design.

If you’ve already taken this step, you can add some beautiful and colorful koi fish, traditional to this type of pond. You can also add stones and aquatic plants to make the fish more comfortable.

7. Use it to meditate outdoors

It’s not just a simple decorative element to make your home pretty. Being part of your outdoor garden, you have an oasis to meditate, do yoga or exercise outdoors. Its design is great to connect with nature and transcend deep meditation.

Natural elements like water, wood, and exotic plants like bonsai can transform your patio into a setting to enjoy a Sunday afternoon with family and friends.

8. Zen gardens are easy to maintain

When you opt for a minimalist design, your Zen garden is very low maintenance. It typically doesn’t have many things that need ongoing repair or cleaning.

Sometimes, you can just clean it yourself, since it’s quick and isn’t very complicated.

How to create Zen gardens

You can start with a small one for a special corner of your home or work. Then, if you want and if you have space, you can start building a larger one.

To make it, in addition to sand and stone, you need the following materials:

  • Granite or fine gravel. If you want, you can get colored ones. Just remember that you will use it to create designs.
  • Shallow wooden tray (1-4 inches). The size is up to you.
  • Decorative elements that you think are pretty.
  • A small rake.
A miniature Zen garden.

Steps to create your Zen garden

  1. Pour the gravel or fine sand into the tray to cover a quarter of its depth, leaving no space.
  2. At this point, you will need to use your creativity to decorate your Zen garden with stones, branches, incense, and other elements of the karesansui.
  3. Remember, you can make waves or other shapes with the rake. Also, you can emulate mountains with rocks and build a small path with some pieces of wood.
  4. Try to get a miniature Buddha figure to incorporate into your design.

Zen gardens are traditional beauties

Make a sketch to get a sense of what you want your garden to look like. Keep in mind that traditional Zen consists of very few elements and an odd number of stones. Also, try adding plants.

Nowadays, there are specialized stores where you can buy what you need to make this project. Japanese gardens must be in continuous movement, so changing the elements and shapes of the sand are one of the ways you can take advantage of their benefits.

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