The Mini Zen Garden, its Benefits and how to make one yourself

mini zen garden
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Sometimes feel stressed in your daily life and need to find some serenity? 😅

The mini Zen garden is a meditation device that allows you to clear your head and soothe your mind. A real bubble of relaxation that will help you find inner peace. Whether you are at home or at the office, this Zen accessory will chase stress away and improve your concentration.

Discover these 5 good reasons to have a mini indoor Japanese garden and learn how to make one yourself.

🌱 What is a mini Zen garden?

Composed of white sand, stones, plants and spiritual elements: the mini Zen garden invites serenity. Generally minimalist in appearance, some include a Buddha statuette, wind chimes, candles or an incense holder. A mini wooden rake can also be added to touch the sand, which gives a true sense of calm.

This miniature landscape symbolizes natural elements. Thus, the ripples drawn on the sand represent water, the moss and plants remind us of trees or nature and the polished stones evoke mountains. In addition to being a beautiful home decor object, the small Zen garden also inspires a meditative mood.

japanese zen garden

😁 5 good reasons to have a mini Japanese Zen garden

Are you stressed? A flood of incessant thoughts overwhelm your head? Meditation is a great way to find inner peace. Therefore, the Japanese Zen garden can help you to soothe your mind.

😇 Stress reduction and relaxation

Arranging your Japanese garden by moving the stones and plants and by drawing on the sand will focus your attention on the present moment and help you to relax. At work, if you feel anxiety coming up, take a 5-minute break to take care of your office Japanese garden. The simple fact of concentrating on something different, will lower your stress. You will see - it's magical!

🧘‍♀ Accompany a meditation session

The Mini Indoor Zen Garden is a great way to begin the art of meditation. Do you know that Buddhism is about focusing your mind on the present moment in order to stay zen?

First of all, simply contemplating and tending your garden is a form of meditation. Take a comfortable posture on a chair, sitting cross-legged or in a lotus position for the more experienced, then focus on your breathing and your body sensations to free your mind. Breathe in slowly and deeply while quietly allowing thoughts to flow through your mind without getting attached to them.

If you are interested in Buddhist philosophy, you can meditate on deeper topics of reflection such as the concept of impermanence, selflessness and dissatisfaction... Get inspired by some Buddhist quotes and let your senses guide you.

meditation and zen garden

💛 Developing a sense of beauty and imperfection

The mini Japanese Zen garden is part of the Wabi-sabi concept that celebrates beauty in the simplicity and imperfection of things, inspired by the 7 principles of Zen philosophy. 

The 7 pillars of Zen philosophy

In the Wabi-sabi aestheticism, we find simplicity (Kanso) which consists in removing everything that is not essential to achieve a refined result, devoid of any superficiality. A minimalist approach that aims to achieve clarity.

Asymmetry (Fukinsei) is a concept inspired by nature in which balance and harmony are created from irregular or incomplete forms, free of symmetry. Naturalness (Shizen) advocates spontaneity and the absence of artificiality while freedom (Datsuzoku) values originality.

In Japanese aesthetics, a sense of calm and tranquility (Seijaku) are desired characteristics. Grace is found in subtlety and suggestion (Yugen) as well as in the marks of passing time (Koko).

If you wish to develop your sense of aesthetics by following the Wabi-sabi concept, you may design your own mini garden according to the 7 principles of the Zen philosophy. This will allow you to cultivate a new, more spiritual perception of beauty.

Zen garden and Buddhist philosophy

🎨 Improving creativity and imagination

Your mini Zen garden is a true source of inspiration. When you contemplate it from different angles, you learn to see things from a new perspective. This can be helpful when you are faced with a problem and are looking for solutions. Reinventing your Japanese garden regularly by moving the stones, the water feature or drawing on the sand will stimulate your imagination. Similarly, if you practice meditation, you will develop a different way of thinking, which will boost your creativity.

🎯 Increasing focus and concentration

Like any other mindfulness practice, taking care of a Zen garden on a regular basis is a great way to increase your concentration skills. A study shows that after only eleven hours of meditation, the area of the brain responsible for concentration and emotional control is positively impacted. After a few weeks of practice, attention span is improved. In addition, the regular practice of meditation is said to have many benefits as it promotes the formation of neuronal connections, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity.

🙋‍♂️ How to create a DIY mini Zen garden?

A do-it-yourself mini Zen garden is a fun and easy activity to set up. All you'll need is a wooden tray (or frame), white sand, some stones from the beach, moss, small plants and a mini rake. Everything needed can be found at garden centers and hobby stores. Sand will be perfect for a mini indoor Zen garden, while small gravels will be more suitable outdoors, so as not to let the wind blow it all away.

do-it-yourself japanese zen garden

Here is a short tutorial:

First, pour the sand or gravel into the wooden platform, then spread it out over the entire surface.

Next, arrange the stones, plants and all the natural elements the way you want while respecting the 7 Zen principles. Pile up some stones to create mountains or place them horizontally to create islands. Simply remember to use an odd number and to group elements by three, five or seven, as this brings good luck according to Japanese culture. If you wish, add some ornamental objects such as a candle, a small bridge or a figurine of your choice.

In a calm and relaxing environment, draw curves, swirls and lines on the sand, varying the intensity. Surround your stones to form waves. Create volumes, valleys and small mounds of sand. To finish, enjoy the landscape you have just imagined and take a few moments to breathe. You can later rearrange your Japanese garden as you desire.

🙋‍♀️ Where to buy a mini Zen garden?

If you don't like crafts or if you simply prefer to buy a mini Zen garden, rather than doing it yourself, you'll certainly find what you need on the Internet. Simply ask our friend Google. You can also find small Japanese indoor gardens in gardening stores. 

mini japanese zen garden

Homemade or not, the mini Zen garden is a great gift idea to offer to your loved ones (or to yourself). This small sand landscape will definitely bring serenity and become a real source of well-being. Simply rake the sand and you''ll realize it!

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