Zen gardens are filled with rocks, sand and trees. So how dothey relate to our personal journeys? You might be surprised at the modernsymbolism in this ancient tradition.

  1. Balance
    Balanced rocks are essential to Zen. These formations(called cairns) can represent balance in our own lives – the structure of work againstplay, order against creativity, and so on, to build equilibrium in our days.

  2. Harmony
    Grass and sand. Gravel and water. Zen gardens unite diverseelements to create beauty in contrast, something we can do everyday by movingwisely between extremes like joy and sadness – never letting one elementovershadow another.

  3. Togetherness
    Zen gardens should be explored with others. What good is itbuilding things that no one but ourselves can see? Likewise in life, share yourcreations and your passions with those you are fortunate enough to have aroundyou.

  4. Intention
    In Zen gardens, every grain of sand has meaning in thelarger picture. Treat every effort in your life as if it were something worthdoing, no matter how small it may seem.

  5. Simplicity
    The most complex beauty can be created using only sand and arake. Everything that is required to live creatively, happily and purposefullyalready resides within us. No materials are necessary beyond what we have inthe present moment.

If you are thinking of life in Zen terms, one final approachis to walk through your own “garden” of experiences now and again, taking stockin what elements are missing, and perhaps what elements there are too many of.This can be done through quiet meditation and self reflection.