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Zen Garden Guide

Traditionally, certain patterns have a certain effect.


The different elements in these drawings in Zen gardens all have a special meaning and effect. The interpretation of the elements is not specifically required, yet there are still basic similarities.

THe four elements stone, water, moss and tree

stone water moss tree

In Zen gardens the four elements of stone, water, moss and tree are commonly used. Stones are used to capture the viewers attention and stand for example for animals embedded in nature or for gods descending from the sky. The water stands for lakes or oceans or for gods coming over the sea. In the special form Kare-san-sui patternd raked into the sand are used to represent water. The moss stands for age and the tree is the symbol of life, or the symbol of humans, as people are both individual as a tree, but also part of the whole.


Meaning of the Motives

Mountain

Through calmness maturity is reached

Zengartenmuster

Circles

Islands, impulses from the center

Zengartenmuster

Spirals

male (clockwise) or female (anticlockwise) energy amplification

Zengartenmuster

Smooth

Quiet, calmness, the quiet before the storm

Zengartenmuster

Ocean & Islands

the strong calm power of the sea

Zengartenmuster

Waves

rhythmic motion energy

Zengartenmuster

Wavy Lines

Creek or river, fast change

Zengartenmuster