Most people consider the garden as a place to live and a great tool to forge social ties, encouraging friendliness and hospitality. This activity maintains their health, contributes to their well-being, it is a source of emotions appealing to all their senses.
The same is true for most of the Japanese garden lovers. But this consideration, while praiseworthy, generates the creation of spaces that are often the result of obsession with form rather than the very essence of this type of garden. That is, it should not begin with the choice of certain physical objects or materials, but above all with a total commitment to live in harmony with nature at all possible levels.
Because the Japanese garden is meant to be the purest reflection of nature … a spiritual sanctuary (and not religious, although its evolution at one time was strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism), a work of art conducive to contemplation. Whatever its size, the Japanese garden gives to read and interpret the whole universe. It is a representation of nature, which since the dawn of time has had a sacred character. In all its forms, even the purest and most sober, by the use of simple materials such as vegetable, stone and water and the expression of universal harmony, it illuminates the life of those who live in it.
These compositions of different elements are the reflection of the vital impetus, of the creative spontaneity of the person who is at the origin of it, of his spirit. The balance, harmony, feeling of stability and power inspired by this ensemble depend on the choice of stones and the location where they are set, the choice and arrangement of plants, the path traveled by water … and of course these notions depend exclusively of the talent and the predispositions of the gardener, revealed by the practice.
But this talent will be able to be fully expressed, this space will be able to be totally harmonious and beneficial, only under certain conditions. The creator and owner of the future garden must constantly bear in mind that in the communicating universe in which we live, every improvement made in our own lives enhances the world as a whole. For every thought, belief, action, decision or emotion modifies the level and balance of the energetic fields of the universe. The ways of thinking of others and the way they irradiate their energy can have a very negative impact, as very positive on us. There was a time, now unfortunately forgotten, where the ishidate-so – title given to Zen priests who, as part of their ascetic practice, expressed themselves through the art of gardening with great importance given to the placement of rocks, the art of stone-setting – was fond of a famous Zen proverb: “When the venomous snake drinks water, it becomes a poison. When the cow drinks the same water, it becomes milk “. This suggests that the garden becomes extremely beneficial or totally the reverse according to the inner dispositions of the person who creates it.
We often hear about Japanese garden art, but the word “way” seems to me to be much more appropriate than the word “art” because it expresses one of the fundamental criteria of the different disciplines that make up the “dō” – the accomplishment of the human being through a long training of the body and the mind, a long physical and spiritual “progress”, a form of inner purification. In the Japanese mentality, much more than the goal or the result which is almost never reached, it is the path followed to try to achieve it that remains the most important. It is always about accomplishment and not about the mere mastery of a particular technique. To be complete in its incompleteness.
The act of creating a garden is for me a way to find simplicity, in order to reach at best the essential. This garden becomes a mirror of my mind, a space where my spirit remains. Through this form of art, this Way, this search for truth, I seek to express my spiritual self, my essence, my highest self.
You have a project between 2 and 20m ², authentic traditional Japanese garden, contemporary or even with a therapeutic aim … Contact me and talk about it.