In praise of Buddha Gardens
“I think the true gardener is a lover of his flowers, not a critic of them.
I think the true gardener is the reverent servant of Nature, not her truculent, wife-beating master.
I think the true gardener, the older he grows, should more and more develop a humble, grateful and uncertain spirit."
If you are, like me, on the road to developing a more humble, grateful and uncertain spirit, there is no better way to help this along than by placing a Buddha (or one his 'associates') in a landscape setting.
Volcanic Ash Buddha from Indonesia
Meaningful treasures such as a jizo, Buddha or Indonesian goddess remind us to slow down, take a breath and live in the moment. Buddha statues elicit a serene response in us...although I am not exactly sure why. Perhaps it is their quiet countenance. Just looking at the photo below calms me down.
Buddha head photo By Jennifer Cheung, Sunset
Buddha heads, in particular, are very powerful. This is especially true if they are lit up at night. Mira and Suresh Suresh found this hefty stone Buddha and set it in their garden. Its serene expression sets a tranquil tone, more so at night.
photo by Benjamin Benschneider
Buddha heads look lovely placed among greenery - like this lava stone Buddha head from Bali. It is set upon a tree stump base and is surrounded by neatly pruned boxwood:
You can also hide a Buddha and make it a sweet surprise in a lush setting as here. Can you see it?:
I think the calming 'Buddha Effect' is due to the ability of a Buddha statue to 'ground' us. We look at a Buddha statue and it somehow connects us to a deep, earthy place within while exhorting us to fly high.
It is that 'push / pull' feeling we find so entrancing.
Nezu garden monk (not Buddha) by Camera Freak, via Flickr
I create Buddha gardens for my clients. It is a joyful exercise. There are just a few rules: first, create a space that offers a backdrop; place a base that elevates the statue slightly and make it visible only after turning a corner or climbing a slope.
You can place it by an entrance of a house or building to add some 'gravitas' and a welcoming energy to the setting.
Buddha by my front door - Jan Johnsen
And you don't have to be so serious - smiling baby Buddhas make us happy
This also opens up the idea of using other sorts of statues. As I mentioned before, you do not have to have a Buddha to add great meaning to a garden. Here are a few wonderful statues of his associates or similar that also enhance that 'uncertain and humble' feeling.
Source : Private Runner tumblr
Campania - Seated Buddha
I hope this inspires you to create a Buddha Garden of your own.....