The garden in a Buddhist life

Buddhist philosophy includes five major tenets known as the five moral precepts. These precepts teach non-violence, peace and a reverence for life. Moreover, Buddhist life practices, such as meditation, are widely believed to promote health and well-being. Gardens, also believed to promote health and well-being, play an important part in Buddhism.


Gardens and beautiful flowers also highlight the concept of Impermanence that life is change and to accept that life is constantly changing, just as the seasons transform from spring the season of new life to the growth of summer and the harvest & storing of Autumn through to the winter with death and hibernation. Incredible gardens surround temples and important sites because many of the important precepts of Buddhism can find living expression in a garden which also is a living example of the cycle of life.

The focus in designing a Zen garden is on tranquility and meditation. When designing a Zen garden, there are many things you should consider including to make your garden peaceful and inspiring. For example you should consider incorporating places to sit and walk. A beautiful, quiet place for peaceful reflection—perhaps under a tree or near a waterfall—is ideal for meditation. However, in Buddhism, meditation can also be done while walking or even while doing repetitive tasks such as planting seeds or weeding, in fact a simple breathe can become a meditation.

Another important tenet of Buddhism that is easily incorporated into a garden is the sanctity of life. Buddhists have a reverence for all life. They do not kill or harm. A garden that reflects this
precept makes a place for not only plant life but also wildlife. It is recommended that a Zen garden offer feeders for birds and other wildlife. A pool or pond with fish is also a desirable aspect to
incorporate into your design.

Zen gardens offer a place for reflection and meditation. They are places in which people may step back from the concerns of everyday life to find a more tranquil and harmonious way of existing. This, too, is an important part of the Buddhist belief. Meditation and stress reduction in general—among the main purposes of a Zen garden—have been scientifically proven to benefit health. Many studies have shown that, people who meditate regularly were shown to have improved immune response and also responded better to stress.

5 comments » Write a comment

  1. I’m feeling very inspired to get working on my garden. Unfortunately, a pond isn’t feasible since I’m renting, but I think my entire family would enjoy one or two bird feeders and a quiet, peaceful place to sit outside.

  2. The relationship between the garden and changes in life is absolutely beautiful. I love Zen gardens and even just reading this post made me feel relaxed and at peace.

  3. I’m an avid gardener and as I read your post it brought me back to lazy summer days in my garden where I can spend hours weeding. I have been known to get home from work and head straight into my garden, heels and all, but I never really thought about what I was doing, looking for some tranquility. My whole family has sat in rapt attention while different birds came to our feeders for dinner. My garden is covered in snow now, so I enjoyed the reminder. Thanks for the post.

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