What does it mean to create a contemplative garden? Thinking of garden design in these terms means to go beyond considerations of style. A contemplative space can look like a Japanese Zen garden of raked sand and rock, or like an English country garden overflowing with flowers and greenery. These descriptions only tell you what flavor the garden has, or what culture has informed its design, not whether it has that extra dimension of spirit and magic. To understand the creation of a garden at this level, the designer must have another, higher paradigm in mind.
One name for this paradigm is a mandala.read more from Chapter 1 >>
Landscape as Spirit: Creating a Contemplative Garden >>
Excerpted from Chapter 1, "The Ground: Garden as Mandala," Landscape as Spirit: Creating a Contemplative Garden by Martin Hakubai Mosko and Alxe Noden. Copyright ©2003Weatherhill, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Weatherhill, Inc.
up to top
Photo by Martin Mosko
Soul Garden by Deena Wade
Reprinted with permission from Natural Home & Garden, May/Jun 2005 issue. Deena Wade, author.
Water trickles in small pools and fountains just below my feet, where large
orange koi swim in swift, slippery ellipses. As I knock at the Boulder, Colorado, home of landscape architect Martin Mosko, I’m reminded of a line from his book, Landscape as Spirit: Creating a Contemplative Garden (Weatherhill, 2003): “If the water is mind, fish are like thoughts.”
Mosko, a Zen Buddhist monk who has created many award-winning contemplative
gardens, describes the garden as a sacred space that expresses the inner self
through a meditative collaboration with nature and spirit. “People want a way to reflect who they truly are, to heal themselves of stress and anxiety, to reconnect with joy,” he says. Landscape designer and author Julie Moir Messervy agrees that “the act of digging deeply into one’s interior life for clues to one’s ideal landscape” is an important part of creating a garden that speaks to your soul. more>
read Soul Garden as PDF >>
read Soul Garden as HTML >>
Need Adobe Reader? Click here to get it.
up to top