I recently read Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyō Masuno who is a zen monk and also a Japanese zen garden designer. With its simple advice, calming and gorgeous artwork, this book inspired me to take action in certain areas of my life where I feel I was unable to for a while.
Of course, living with the harsh realities of the Coronavirus pandemic for over the past 2 years has truly changed "our ways", and sometimes I feel it's important to be reminded about the importance of stillness and reflection.
After reading this book, I watched Masuno's talk about The Art and Philosophy of Zen Garden Design. After researching a little bit more, I decided I wanted to give it a go and try my very own mini Zen garden at home. I dove into the world of YouTube and watched the following videos as well:
- Building a Zen Garden diorama
- The basics of the Zen Garden
- ASMR Japanese Zen Garden
Today ıI finally got around to buying some white sand from a local shop. I already had stones and shells from before (I tend to collect them from wherever I go). I first placed the sand, I tried to even it out as much as possible. I then added the stones, and other items as I saw fit, and finally raked the sand. I created a mini DIY rake out of tape and toothpicks, but I'm pretty sure I can make a more decent one for next time (see image below). Mind you, it did the job quite well.
This was incredibly relaxing, and it then lead me to go out and clean up my balcony area and add stones and shells across the soil as well - I have a cat, so it's quite hard to keep anything planted there (middle photo above). All in all, it's been a relaxing few hours, and I do indeed feel grateful for being alive.
"Each day is not the same" - Masuno
Playlist listened to whilst doing all of the above.
Interested in international development, humanitarian work and activism through art, literature and music. Singer/Song-writer/Guitarist.