Spiritual gardens

A spiritual garden is ideally designed to reflect one’s inner emotional needs. The garden can be a source of strength, renewal, contemplation, appreciation of nature, peace and joyfulness.

by John Leslie — 

Sara grinned as she approached the entrance to her garden; the gargoyle gazed intently as she walked through the archway. The morning sun crested the stone wall just as she sat down on her carefully positioned bench.

Right on cue, the rabbits and quail made their way to the feeding spot, sheltered by the majestic Palo Verde tree. As she noticed a flower petal floating in the pond, a breeze awakened the delicate sounds of the wind chime, soothing her spirit.

Sara has a special garden, a sanctuary where she can go to escape the rigors of daily life — to read, meditate or watch the sun set. Such a refuge is just one example of what I call spiritual gardens. These gardens have special meaning and symbolism that evoke a sense of spirituality, higher consciousness, the divine, and a sense of connection to the purpose of life and the physical world around us.

This sense of spiritual connection can be obtained through careful design of the space and a thoughtful analysis of the person for whom the garden is designed. Individual belief systems and affinities for particular physical objects are combined to create a space conducive for spiritual experiences. Feelings and responses vary with the individual, but each has personal meaning.

There can be many different types of spiritual gardens that reflect different themes, such as meditation and/or healing, or they can be constructed to carry out a more complex mission, like a labyrinth. Each garden, however, must be designed with certain fundamentals of structure, so knowledge of landscape design is very helpful.

A spiritual garden is ideally designed to reflect one’s inner emotional needs. The garden can be a source of strength, renewal, contemplation, appreciation of nature, peace and joyfulness. Consider creating a garden that is a reflection of your ideals and one that will give you support to make the changes to become who you really are — a being full of love and light.

 

John Leslie has a master’s degree in landscape architecture and is a practicing landscape designer who blends Eastern philosophy into his designs and creations. He is owner of JSL Designs, a landscape design and construction firm located in Scottsdale, Ariz. 480-239-8049 or john@jsllandscape.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 6, December 2008/January 2009.

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