Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Grab some chopsticks and bring them to class on Tues

Taizo-in Zen Rock Garden
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Geo students will make mini rock garden rakes by cutting and gluing pieces of chopsticks in class on Tues.

Zen Buddhist monks rake the gravel or sand in Japanese rock gardens each day. Ordinary Japanese people also have raked dry gardens.

The Japanese rock gardens (karesansui) or "dry landscape" gardens, often called "Zen gardens" were influenced mainly by Zen Buddhism and can be found at Zen temples of meditation, says Wikipedia.

Japanese gardens are a living work of art in which the plants and trees are ever changing with the seasons. As they grow and mature, they are constantly sculpted to maintain and enhance the overall experience; hence, a Japanese garden is never the same and never really finished.

The underlying structure of a Japanese garden is determined by the buildings, verandas and terraces, paths, tsukiyama (artificial hills), and stone compositions. Over time, it is only as good as the careful maintenance that it receives by those skilled in the art of training and pruning. Part of the art is to keep the garden almost still, like a painting.

Karesansui gardens can be extremely abstract and represent (miniature) landscapes also called "mind-scapes". This Buddhist preferred way to express cosmic beauty in worldly environments is inextricable from Zen Buddhism.