Maybe you’ve decided to take up meditation. Or, maybe you’d just like to create a personal, peaceful place in your yard. Whatever your reasons, designing your own area to meditate, reflect and enjoy nature is one of the best uses of your outdoor living space. Here are a few ways you can get started creating your own meditation garden.
What Inspires You?
You don’t need to know anything about meditation in order to create a relaxing place in your yard. Simply sit quietly and think about what a natural, inspirational setting looks like to you. Look through magazines or online pictures to get your juices flowing. You can look to traditional designs such as Japanese or Zen, but all the world’s locations hold some personal magic. The desert, the beach or the English countryside can be just as inspiring – choose what is meaningful to you.
You’ll want to think about the basics now and be realistic about some things.
Size – think about all the ways you use your yard area and how you entertain. Remember, a meditation garden can still be multi-use if you have a limited amount of space.
Terrain – is this a patio only with hard surfaces you’re working with? Is your ground area level or does it have a slope? What naturally existing elements can be used to help create privacy or peaceful surroundings? What view do you wish to see when seated in your meditation garden? Consider all of these points.
Noise – Finding quiet space is one of the most important elements. Think about traffic, close-by neighbors and other factors. The use of water or soft music on a portable player can help mute undesired sounds.
Having some sort of overhang or shelter can be important. After all, one of the most peaceful sounds in nature is that of softly falling rain. But you really don’t want to be soaked while seated outside, either. Also, shelter from the hot sun in summer can make it more relaxing on your mind and body. Adding a pergola, arbor or even an enclosed pavilion are all good options to consider. Finally, don’t forget to consider what you’ll actually be sitting on. Cushions, sofas, chairs or wherever you want to be seated should be comfortable and support a good posture. Make sure fabrics are all-weather friendly too.
Be Mindful of Plants
Try to choose plants that inspire you and are beautiful to look at. If you love butterflies or birds, for example, then choose plantings that attract them. Consider their fragrances as well, and try different flowers and herbs that inspire joy and relax you. Be strategic where possible though, and pick plants that are eco-friendly. Select plants that minimize pests and keep weed growth down, naturally. As toxins won’t make you feel very Zen-like in your garden.
Adding a water feature such as a fountain, waterfall or pond to your area is always a good idea. This fundamental element is always relaxing both to us, and the wildlife in the yard. Plus, if adding a fountain or waterfall, the sound of the water will help drown out any excess noise in your meditation space. Lastly, accessorize your area with a few statues or other objects that inspire you. Specific statues or stones can add meaning and focus, as well as character and even a sense of humor. As one Zen Master I know, Nissim Amon, always says to his students when meditating, “keep a little smile.”
Creating a meditation garden is an ideal way to create a relaxing, peaceful area in your home and garden. For more tips, see this WikiHow article. By helping to manage stress, meditation or even just reconnecting with nature, is one of the best things we can all do to help care for ourselves. What better use of your yard can there be? Namaste.
Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com team.