Japanese tea and the Zen master

place of silence

Soto Zen teacher, Dogen Zenji said, “Handle even a single leaf of green in such a way that it manifests the body of the Buddha. This in turn allows the Buddha to manifest through the leaf.”  Was Dogen referring to the tranquil, detached state of Zen meditation or to the remarkable properties of the leaves of camelia sinensis, the tea plant? Continue Reading

Bamboo Bonsai


Bamboo, an evergreen plant that can be found growing in the woodlands of South and Central America as well as Africa and Asia. The Chinese see the Bamboo as a symbol of honesty, of eternal youth and Buddhist use Bamboo to help them achieve inner peace. Continue Reading

Your own Japanese Garden, part two


In my previous article I wrote about considerations and decisions to be taken when you are going to build your own Japanese garden. In this article I'll elaborate on that. As the Japanese garden evolved over 15 centuries it is difficult to label or "put in a box". As there are many garden types in Japan, to typify it as (just) "a Japanese garden" is not enough. It is not Continue Reading

Zen and three friends of winter


In Japan, rock gardens were created by Zen Buddhist priests to offer a place for quiet reflection near Japanese temples. Several features are essential to these gardens; a typical garden will contain a water element, boulders, a gravel sand area reminiscent of the seashore, and plantings - often a combination of bamboo, plums and pine, called the "three friends of winter." Pine Continue Reading

What Bonsai Tree are YOU

As Bonsai and garden lovers we spend alot of time getting to know our trees, we get intimate with shaping, trimming and styling. We water and feed, but how close are we to our trees! If we were a Bonsai tree what type of tree would we be. In the following list, map your birth date against your tree type and then take a look at you description. Let me know how accurate it is and Continue Reading