Too often, we let the vagaries of everyday life rub off on our mood. Problems at work, tense relationships, stress, fatigue, trouble falling asleep … What better way to get away from this routine than meditation?
Many people think that to find the perfect place, you have to travel the world. And finally, we realize that we are no better than at home.
What if instead of spending our time looking for a perfect and special place, we create it in our own garden for the whole family to enjoy?
Building a meditation garden is the best way to combine the great benefits of nature and meditation activities to reduce the stress that invades us.
What is a meditation garden?
The goal of a meditation garden is to provide you with a calm and peaceful place to find peace and reduce stress which can be emotional or physical. Even though it’s only a few steps from your home, it serves as a welcoming retreat to relax and practice meditation without any disturbance.
Being outdoors, surrounded by nature, helps us heal. As humans, we have a natural instinct known as biophilia, an innate bond that we share with all the creatures and plants in the natural world that we subconsciously seek out. Therefore, spending time in nature reduces our reaction to stress and allows us to recover from stressful situations more quickly. The natural world offers solace and comfort that we do not find in any man-made environment. In fact, a landmark study published in 2001 in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that a healing garden at a children’s hospital in California had positive effects on users – around 85% of them reported feeling more relaxed, refreshed or better able to cope with the situation after spending only 5 minutes in the garden.
You can set up a garden at the back of your house that serves as a sanctuary for your family members. It can turn into a perfect escape from your busy schedule.
As humans, we have a natural instinct known as biophilia, an innate bond that we share with all the creatures and plants in the natural world that we subconsciously seek out.
Meditation garden ideas
In addition to being outdoors, meditation gardens usually contain elements that help make them the serene space you desire. A meditation garden should have several elements that satisfy your senses, such as bright colors, calming sounds, interesting shapes and textures, comfortable places to sit or lie down, and pleasant aromas. The best part is that you can choose the elements you want for your space based on your personal preferences and your goals for the garden.
Here are some of the most common elements found in a meditation garden:
Besides the fact that green is a calming color, greenery can serve as the basis for your meditation garden. Plants, shrubs, hedges, and trees can be used in a number of ways to create a place that is secluded and separate from the rest of your garden. They can serve as a fence, sound or visual barrier, or create artistic visual interest. If you use native plants, you can even attract wild animals to your sanctuary. Be sure to choose shrubs and trees that are easy to grow and do not require a lot of maintenance in your garden.
You will have fun choosing the beautiful flowers to plant in your garden. From tropical to grassy or desert style, the hard part will be narrowing down all your options! Look for shapes, lines, patterns and colors that make you feel calm. Consider including potted plants in your space, and even planting an herb garden or vegetable patch. Flowers can also bring soothing aromas to your garden, such as aloe, jasmine, rose, chamomile, or lavender.
Water is known to give us a feeling of peace and serenity. In fact, medical studies have shown that people who spend time in, on, or around water have less cortisol (the stress hormone) and more serotonin, oxytocin. and dopamine (the feel-good hormones). We are so focused on the water that we enter a state of consciousness, which is why it is essential to add elements of water to your meditation garden. The soothing sound of running water can mask traffic and other annoying noises. Here are some ideas for incorporating water into your garden: fish ponds, water bowls, birdbaths, a fountain, a garden waterfall, or other flowing water features.
It is important to provide your garden with shade so that you and your children stay cool and out of the sun. You can incorporate shade into your garden by adding an awning, umbrella, pergola, or greenery.
Although it is not required, many people prefer to have a place to sit or lie in their meditation garden. Think about how you plan to spend your time in the garden. If you intend to read a book, a comfortable meditation bench or meditation chair is a good choice. If you plan on lying down to meditate or take a nap, consider a waterproof outdoor hammock or sofa. If you plan on stretching or practicing yoga, leave an open, flat area large enough for one or two yoga mats, depending on the number of people present.
Stones, pebbles and sand.
Unlike soft items like grasses, plants, and bushes, these sturdy materials give your meditation garden a sense of strength. Japanese Zen gardens, also known as Japanese rockeries, include these simple elements that help soothe and heal us. As we see with the mini zen gardens that people use on their desks, the raked sand is calming because it looks like ripples or waves of water.
Most meditation gardens contain some type of paving stone. You can be as creative as you want by creating spiral patterns or paths. Mazes made of bricks or stones are popular, as walking through a labyrinth has traditionally been a journey inward.
Statues and Sculptures. Some people like to include different types of statues or sculptures that are meaningful to them. There are many possibilities like animals, Buddha images or small pagodas.
How do I make a small meditation garden?
When you first start planning your meditation garden, you may feel overwhelmed because the options are endless. Gather your family and discuss what makes each of you feel at peace and what you plan to do in this space.
Then, go explore for examples that you can use for your garden. Look up photos online, visit museum and hotel gardens, get a closer look at your neighbors’ gardens, and check out botanical gardens in your area. Research different styles of gardens from around the world, such as Japanese Zen, Chinese, Southwestern United States, Traditional English, and Middle Eastern.
Once you have a vision of your serene space, visit your local garden store to choose materials or contact a landscaper for advice. You’ll want to choose plants that are low-maintenance so that your meditation garden doesn’t become a new source of stress. Finally, do your best to use environmentally friendly gardening products to protect the environment and the health of your family. You wouldn’t want to spoil your special place by spraying nasty pesticides on the plants!
Get inspired by meditation gardens
Try to visit meditation gardens in your area. When you travel, look for them – check out botanical gardens, ashrams, and yoga centers. Browse websites and books for ideas.
Make the shrine one of a kind with plants, objects, structures and amenities that are just like you. The only rule is to create a space where you can reflect on the beauty and simplicity of nature and your inner self.
Once you are done, you can enjoy incredible moments of peace, quiet, and family bonding in your very own meditation garden.
Being in contact with nature reduces stress levels. Combined with meditation, imagine the health benefits you will receive. Make it a convenient place – create a sanctuary in your own backyard.