Lotus Temple

The oriental gardens are inspired by the millinery Asian tradition

Oriental gardens

The garden is often a symbol of tranquillity and peace and when we are stressed and we would like to have a place to take refuge, this is always the best solution. But when we really seek tranquillity and silence, even more than a normal garden, it is ideal to be able to enjoy the space of an oriental garden. There are various types of oriental gardens. The classic and perhaps even better-known one is the Zen garden where everything revolves around respect for nature and its laws. The landlord, throughout the year, is accompanied on the journey through the seasons or, in the zen garden made of stones and pebbles, nothing changes. It remains as such as a picture to contemplate. The Zen garden is characterized by the presence of sand and rocks while the other oriental gardens are different. The Japanese one, for example, has vegetation and water among its main elements. A real balance is created between meditation and nature, inserting elements that are never too big or too heavy or too dark. In the Japanese garden, everything revolves around the principle of Yin and Yang, where the masculine is counterbalanced by the feminine and vice versa. Then there is the Feng-Shui garden, Chinese, which literally means “wind and water” and which is a modern garden of contemplation and meditation, capable of making a man find his closest connection with nature. Here too everything is based on the dialogue between Yin and Yang, training and toculine that must be fused with water, rocks and plants, in a single harmonious whole. A real balance is created between meditation and nature, inserting elements that are never too big or too heavy or too dark.

THE ZEN GARDEN

The Zen garden is the typical garden and the best known of Japanese culture. Here the stones and gravel symbolically represent water, plants and stones. The monks usually use the stones and gravel of these gardens to do meditation: even now there are also the Bonseki, small gardens gathered in a wooden structure suitable for interiors, which often businessmen also bring to the office. And then there is a whole symbology: as gravel represents water, stones stand to represent mountains and plants. The Zen garden can be created both in small and larger spaces: the main elements are the rocks to form the islands and the mountains and the special sand to create the sea currents, the waves. The islands, which represent immortality, health and longevity, they are the true place of meditation. The still water is instead a symbol of the mind: it reflects reality, the truly pure one.

THE JAPANESE GARDEN

The Japanese garden wants to reflect the Great Nature and is based on bases shared by other traditional Japanese arts: from the pictorial to the chivalrous ones, from the ceremonial to the literary ones. The traditional Japanese garden is divided into four types: the shinden-zukuri style, developed in the IX-XII centuries; the garden of Jōdo, in the XI-XII centuries; the karesansui in the period starting from the fourteenth century and the Tea garden, known as roji from the sixteenth onwards.

The garden of shinden-zukuri and that of Jōdo developed almost at the same time in Heian’s dynamic dynastic era and with the influence of a significant religious current, the mappō-shisō addressed to salvation after death.

The other two types of gardens have been strongly influenced by Zen, which pushes a man to meditation and inner research but immersed in everything that surrounds him. Only in this way can man understand nature and its phenomena.

Even today, in the contemporary world, the Japanese garden deserves to be contemplated: the relationship between man and nature must be rethought and meditated and the arrangement of oriental green spaces can help in this process.

THE FENG SHUI

The origins of Feng Shui are to be found in the China of the VI-IV BC: it is a philosophy addressed to those who want in general to live the way of living harmoniously and in all serenity. Studying the location of the house and its rooms and choosing the best garden and furniture, are fundamental steps in the Feng Shui doctrine.

According to Feng Shui, each element must be arranged according to a criterion. The stone represents tradition, mountains and plants, as well as being a symbol of all things in the natural world. The Feng Shui garden puts the material in contrast with the empty spaces and following in a certain way the cardinal points, wants to free itself from the confusion, adapt to the quiet life, with calm colours and an order that brings true peace. And so the Feng Shui garden is a space full of symbolic meanings: from the colour of the flowers to the arrangement of the smallest element. Each cardinal point also corresponds to an element, for example, the south is linked to fire and the north to water. Through a compass – the Ba Gus – the cardinal points and the corresponding elements are identified within the garden and after that, it can be divided into sectors within which to put plants or objects that characterize the dominant element. The aim is to obtain a balanced space where nature grows free and spontaneous and where all things are divided according to two groups: the Yin and the Yang, the male and female universe that must coexist and not prevail over one another. The Feng Shui garden is a place of meditation, peace and harmony. Not gaming or socializing. the masculine and the feminine universe that must coexist and not prevail over one another.

Stephanie Gutierres

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