Wayside Gardens: The Use and Symbolism of Buddhas in Gardens

Buddhas in GardensStatues and images of the Buddha have been placed in the grounds of temples and gardens since ancient times and gardening has strong associations with Buddhism:It is believed that;The Soil of the garden represents the fertile ground of Buddha's Mind. A Sangha (Pali for Buddhist community) is the same as community of plants in the garden. Dhamma (teachings of the Buddha) is the expression of wisdom that is in the Temple - Garden.If a garden can be regarded as a mind then:Paths represent the ways to enlightenment. The soil represents the state of our own internal Karma. It's planting represents fertile and blossoming ideas. The changing seasons represent of the changing moods of the mind. Eastern tradition also suggests that the Buddha should not face south, as this is associated with Yama, a Hindu god and judge of the dead. North is the preferred direction when placing Buddha statues in the garden.Buddhist gardens Pure Land Buddhism The making of Buddhist gardens in Japan was inspired by Pure Land Buddhism movement which originally came from China. It has as its centre piece the Mandala showing the Buddha with a temple and a garden - it has inspired the making of gardens with equivalent symbolism.Zen Buddhism Zen Buddhism believes that by making a fine garden can contribute to enlightenment and contentment. This requires skill, artistic judgement and a deep understanding of nature combined with constant attention. So gardening can be a deemed a religious activity.They should generally have:A beautiful place for sitting quietly or for meditation.

Numerous Paths for the practice of walking meditation.

A lotus pool containing a Buddha statue.

A place for the feeding of fish, birds or animals.Ten of the World's Most Beautiful Buddhist Gardens1. Totekiko Temple Gardens, Kyoto JapanTotekiko is one of the five gardens at the Ryogen,Temple Kyoto, Japan. It was laid in 1958, and is said to be the smallest Japanese rock garden. It is a small enclosed garden, composed of attractive simple boulders placed on raked sand. These rocks are surrounded by concentric gravel circles and are connected by parallel ridges and furrows. The garden briefly receives the sun at around noon each day, and it is sometimes covered by snow in the winter. The garden represents a Zen saying, that the harder a stone is thrown in, the bigger the ripples will be.The temple also includes three other gardens, Isshi-dan, Koda-tei, and Ryogin-tei - which is a moss covered garden which is claimed to be the oldest in Daitoku-ji.2. Imperial War Museum Peace Garden, London UKThis beautiful and peaceful area is located in the park in front of the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth. The garden aims to encourage world peace and promote non violence. Its Tibetan name translates as "The Garden of Contemplation". The design and decoration uses many Buddhist symbols. A tall pillar has in four languages the Dalai Lama's message about the importance of choosing non-violence.The garden's layout is based on the eight spoke Buddhist Wheel representing the Noble Eightfold Path. There are eight stone seats in a circle representing the eight principles in the Noble Eightfold Path. When you sit here you can focus on the centre of the garden. Around the outside of the area is a trellis and plants from the Himalayas. This garden consciously represents the elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water and the space is often visited by Tibetan Buddhist teachers when visiting London.3. The Mahabodhi Temple Gardens, IndiaThis temple is built at the actual place where the Buddha reached Enlightenment while sitting under the Bodhi Tree. Almost all activity at the Temple takes place in the large garden surrounding this huge stone spire. This is full of tall, shady trees and little lawns, monuments and marigolds. The holiest place at the Mahabodhi Temple is outdoors under a Bodhi Tree. This Bodhi Tree has been grown from cuttings from a series of earlier Bodhi Trees, which came from the original Bodhi Tree under which Buddha sat and meditated 2,500 years ago. Buddhists from all over the world come to visit this sacred spotSome people come and sit near the Bodhi Tree on their own and some come in groups of Buddhist pilgrims from the same country. Throughout the Mahabodhi Temple garden you see people worshipping. The Bodhi Tree itself is where all Buddhist meditation began. All around the Mahabodhi Temple you see people practicing Walking Meditation - walking slowly along the paths which lead round the Temple garden always doing so in a clockwise direction.On the east side of the Temple is a beautiful Meditation Park having many winding paths for walking meditation and little marble platforms, where people can sit and meditate. This garden is filled with the sounds from thousands of brown mynah birds. On the south side of the Mahabodhi Temple is a large, rectangular Lotus Pool. In the centre of the pool is a statue of Buddha. The Lotus Pool is full of large catfish.4. Ryoan-ji Temple Gardens - The Temple of the Peaceful Dragon, Kyoto JapanThis is a Zen temple located in northwest Kyoto, Japan. The temple is one of the Historic Monuments of Kyoto and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring a dry landscape rock garden. The dry landscape rock garden was built in the late 13th Century. It consists of raked gravel and fifteen moss covered boulders placed so that, when looking at the garden from any angle only fourteen of the boulders are visible at one time.5. Sigiriya Temple, Sri LankaThis is a World Heritage Site and is sometimes said to have the oldest surviving garden in Asia. It was originally the garden of a residential palace later becoming the garden of a Mahayana Buddhist monastery. The present layout of Sigiriya is believed to date from in the 5th century AD.6. Lumbini, IndiaThis was the site of the Buddha's birth. The site was re-discovered in 1896.The sacred pool had earth banks at the time of its re-discovery. It now has a paved margin and steps - but it remains a place of exceptional calm. The garden also includes a bathing tank of the Sakyas where the water is bright and clear as a mirror and its surface covered with a mixture of flowers. This is where the Bodhisattva was born. In 1997 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.7. Kagyu Samyé Ling Monastery, ScotlandKagyu Samyé Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre is a Tibetan Buddhist complex located at Eskdalemuir, near Dumfries,Scotland. The Tara Healing Garden preserves and propagates medicinal herbs native to Tibet. The grounds feature a Garden of World Peace, an organic kitchen garden, with greenhouses a vinery, peach-house and a traditional herb garden (TaraHealingGarden) which preserves and propagates medicinal herbs native to Tibet. The garden is surrounded by woodland and arable land grazed by a herd of Yak.8. Secret Buddha Garden, Ko Samui, ThailandThis beautiful spot on Ko Samui is one of the most important tourist attractions of Ko Samui. It was designed and built by a fruit farmer in 1976 called Nim Thongsuk, who was 77 when he started building the garden. This has also resulted in another name for the area - "Uncle Nimm's Garden". It is surrounded by jungles and rocky hills and is slightly difficult to find as it lies high on the mountain overlooking the island. The entire garden is filled with sculptures and statues depicting humans as well as various gods and Buddhas.9. The Peace Pagoda and Peace Temple Gardens, Milton Keynes, UKFounded by Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk from Japan who worked with Gandhi on finding peaceful ways of opposing government's wrongdoing. After the Second World War, he campaigned strongly against with nuclear weapons. He lived to be 100 and his movement built 80 Peace Pagodas and Peace Gardens all round the world. In the beautiful gardens surrounding the pagoda are a thousand cherry trees and cedars planted to remind us of the victims of all wars.To left of the pagoda is a small Japanese garden of rocks, moss and bushes and a water lily pond full of carp and to the right of the Temple is a little moss garden. Behind the Temple is a typical Zen garden of rocks and gravel. Finally at the rear of the Zen garden is a stupa.10. Wenshu Monastery Gardens, Chengdu, ChinaThis Zen Buddhist monastery was built between 605 - 617 during the period of the Tang Dynasty and is the best-preserved temple in Chengdu. This Buddhist Temple is set within splendid landscaped gardens containing examples of religious Chinese architecture as well as a superb vegetarian restaurant.The landscaped park within the Wenshu Monastery are very beautiful and serene and are beautifully maintained and clean and has many trees and shrubs as well as spectacular water features. The courtyards and gardens seem to melt into each other, making for a very quiet and contemplative environment. [EXTRACT] GardensStatues Buddhas and Buddha images have been placed in the grounds of temples and gardens of old and gardening has strong associations with Buddhism: It is believed that the garden soil is the fertile land of the Buddha mind. The Sangha (community of Buddhist Pali) is the same as the community of plants in the garden. Dhamma (teachings of Buddha) is the expression of the wisdom found in the Temple - Garden.If a garden can be considered as a mind then: Paths represent the forms of lighting. The soil represents the internal state of our Karma. It represents ideas sowing fertile and flourishing. The changing seasons represent the changing moods of the mind. Eastern tradition also suggests that the Buddha should not look to the south, as it is associated to Yama, the Hindu god and judge of the dead. North is the preferred direction by placing statues of Buddha in the garden. Gardens Buddhist Pure Land Buddhism The Buddhist creation of gardens in Japan was inspired by the movement of the Pure Land Buddhism that originally came from China. That is the centerpiece of the Buddha Mandala shows it with a temple and a garden - that has inspired the development of the gardens with the equivalent symbolism.Zen Buddhism Zen Buddhism believes that making a garden, can contribute to enlightenment and joy . It takes skill, artistic view and a deep understanding of nature combined with constant attention. So the garden can be a considered a religious activity.They generally should have: A beautiful place to sit quietly or meditation. Numerous trails for walking meditation practice. A lotus pool containing a statue of Buddha. A place for feeding fish, poultry or animals.Ten Buddhist Gardens1 world's most beautiful. Totekiko Temple Gardens, Kyoto JapanTotekiko is one of the gardens in the Ryoga five years, the temple of Kyoto, Japan. It was established in 1958 and is said to be the smallest Japanese rock garden. This is a small enclosed garden composed of rocks placed in the simple appeal raked sand. These rocks are surrounded by concentric circles of gravel and are connected by parallel ridges and furrows. The garden gets the sun briefly around noon each day, and is sometimes covered by snow in winter. The garden is a Zen saying that the more you throw a stone into the bigger the waves be.The temple also includes three other gardens, they Isshi, Koda-tei tei and Ryogin - which is a moss-covered garden that is claimed to be the oldest Daitoku-ji.2. Imperial War Museum Peace Garden, London UKThis area is beautiful and quiet in the park opposite the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth. The garden aims to promote world peace and promote nonviolence. Its Tibetan name translates as "The Garden of contemplation." The design and decoration using many Buddhist symbols. One of the pillars of height in four languages ​​has the Dalai Lama's message about the importance of choosing the design does not violence.The garden is based on the Buddhist eight spokes represent the Noble Eightfold Path. There are eight stone seats in a circle that represents the eight principles in the Noble Eightfold Path. When you're here, you can concentrate on the center of the garden. Around the outside of the area is a trellis and plants of the Himalayas. This garden is aware of the elements Earth, Fire, Air and Water and space is often visited by Tibetan Buddhist teachers when they visit London.3. The Mahabodhi Temple Gardens, IndiaThis temple is built in the actual place where the Buddha attained enlightenment while sitting under the Bodhi tree. Almost all the activity in the temple is held in the large garden that surrounds the stone tower. This is full of trees, shade and little lawns, monuments and wonders. The most sacred place in the Mahabodhi Temple is outdoors under a Bodhi tree. The Bodhi Tree has grown from cuttings of a number of principles Bodhi tree, which came from the original Bodhi tree under which Buddha sat and meditated 2,500 years ago. Buddhists around the world come to visit this holy town spotSome come and sit near the Bodhi tree on his own and some come in groups of Buddhist pilgrims from the same country. Along the Mahabodhi Temple garden you see that people love. The Bodhi tree is in itself in which all Buddhist meditation began. Throughout the Mahabodhi temple you see people practicing walking meditation - walking slowly along the roads leading through the garden of the Temple always do it in a clockwise direction.On east side of the Temple is a beautiful park Meditation has many trails for walking meditation and small marble platforms where people can sit and meditate. This garden is filled with the sounds of thousands of mynah birds brown. On the south side of the Mahabodhi Temple is a large swimming pool, rectangular Lotus. In the middle of the pool is a statue of Buddha. The lotus pool is full of great catfish.4. Ryoan-ji Temple Gardens - The Temple of the Peaceful Dragon, Kyoto Zen temple JapanThis is located in northwest Kyoto, Japan. The temple is one of the historical monuments of Kyoto and is a World Heritage Site with a landscape of dry rock garden. The landscape of dry rock garden was built in the 13th century. It consists of raked gravel and fifteen moss-covered stones placed so that, when looking at the garden from any angle of only fourteen of the rocks are visible at the same time 5. Temple Sigiriya, Sri LankaThis is a World Heritage Site and is sometimes said that the oldest surviving garden in Asia. It was originally the garden of a residential palace later became the garden of a Mahayana Buddhist monastery. The current design of Sigiriya is believed to date from the fifth century AD.6. Lumbini, IndiaThis was the birthplace of Buddha. The site was re-discovered in the sacred pool 1896.The had mounds of earth at the time of its re-discovery. Now has a margin of asphalt and steps - but it remains a place of calm exceptional. The garden also includes a bathing tank of the Sakya where the water is clear and bright as a mirror and its surface covered with a mixture of flowers. This is where the Bodhisattva was born. In 1997 he became Site.7 Heritage. Kagyu Ling Samye Monastery, Samye Ling Monastery ScotlandKagyu and Tibetan Centre is a Tibetan Buddhist complex located in Eskdalemuir, near Dumfries, Scotland. The Healing Garden Tara preserves and disseminates the native medicinal herbs from Tibet. Outside there is a World Peace Garden, an organic garden with greenhouses of a vineyard, peach house and garden of traditional herbs (TaraHealingGarden) that preserves and disseminates the native medicinal herbs from Tibet. The garden is surrounded by forests and farmland grazed by a herd of Yak.8. Secret Buddha Garden, Ko Samui, ThailandThis beautiful place in Ko Samui is one of the most important tourist attractions of Ko Samui. It was designed and built by a farmer in 1976 called Nim fruits Thongsuk, who was 77 years old when construction began on the garden. This has also led to another name for the area - "Uncle Nimm Garden". Surrounded by forests and rocky mountains and is a little hard to find since it is up on the hill overlooking the island. The whole garden is full of sculptures and statues depicting human beings as well as various gods and Buddhas.9. The Peace Pagoda and Peace Temple Gardens, Milton Keynes, Nichidatsu UKFounded by Fujii, a Buddhist monk from Japan, who worked with Gandhi in the search for peaceful means to oppose the government's misdeeds. After the Second World War, campaigned strongly against nuclear weapons. He lived to be 100 and his movement built 80 Peace Pagodas and Gardens of Peace throughout the world. In the beautiful gardens surrounding the pagoda are thousands of cherry trees and cedars planted to commemorate the victims of all wars. To left of the pagoda is a small Japanese garden of rocks, moss and shrubs and a water lily pond full of carp and right of the temple is a little moss garden. Behind the temple is a typical Zen garden with rocks and gravel. Finally, in the back of the Zen garden is a stupa.10. Wenshu Monastery Gardens, Chengdu, ChinaThis Zen Buddhist monastery was built between 605 to 617 during the Tang Dynasty, and is the best preserved temple in Chengdu. This Buddhist temple is surrounded by beautiful gardens with examples of religious Chinese architecture and a magnificent landscaped park vegetarian restaurant.The Wenshu Monastery are very beautiful and serene, and very well kept and clean and has many trees and shrubs and spectacular water features. The courtyards and gardens seem to melt into each other, making for a very quiet and contemplative.
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