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Home > Garden Design, Feng Shui and the Use of Buddhas in the Garden

Garden Design, Feng Shui and the Use of Buddhas in the Garden

 Garden Design, Feng Shui and the Use of Buddhas in the Garden 

Feng Shui, as a practical philosophy, existed even before the birth of classical Chinese culture. The ancient inhabitants of China used the binary form of "Ying" and "Yang" to try to make sense of the events of the world around them. Feng Shui has been practised for many centuries in China being adopted and enhanced by successive generations of Chinese emporers becoming increasingly complex and rule based.

When Buddhism reached China, it soon absorbed the Feng Shui principles combining it with Buddhism’s own practices. Ancient Buddhist temples, mostly situated in the mountainous regions of China, are all built according to the principles of Feng Shui.
America was initially introduced to Feng Shui during the Californian gold rush of the mid 1800s, when many Chinese labourers worked in the gold panning and mining industries. Though the Chinese had brought their beliefs in Feng Shui principles to this country, they were arcane and difficult to understand to the Californians of the time and didn’t take root. 150 years later the as eastern philosophies and religions are more readily accepted Feng Shui has become relatively commonplace in the West.
 
Feng Shui and Garden Design

In the development of an oriental garden Feng Shui has had much influence on the evolution of garden design. The calm Zen gardens of Japan embody a practice similar to Feng Shui as they are designed to stimulate a meditative state using calming water features, shade and patterns in the gravel and stones. Other Zen gardens are totally devoid of garden plants and in terms of Feng Shui garden design they are known as Yin gardens. Whereas in Western garden design where our gardens may be bursting with plants, decorative ornaments and other garden features they are known as Yang gardens.
 
Placing the Buddha in the Garden

A Buddha statues, sculpture or image that welcomes you every time you enter and leave your garden adds an element of Feng Shui that’s hard to replicate in any other way.

Feng Shui garden design can help ensure that our gardens should be havens of peace and pleasure. When using Buddha statues, sculptures or Buddha images in your garden design Feng Shui (and most Buddhist culture particularly Thai Buddhism) believes that the Buddha location should be raised off the ground as this is regarded as being disrespectful to the Buddha. The Chinese believe that the Buddha prefers being raised up and you may want to consider placing the Buddha statue or images on a pedestal or other container – this will also have the benefit that the Buddha is more prominent and focused to the viewer of the garden.A solid slab of rock or marble would be the best platform for the Buddha statue to sit upon. It is a given of Feng Shui garden design that placing the Buddha statue on a pile of rocks or earth might create a dissonant and unwelcome sight. And that’s not the reason why you wished to place the Buddha in your garden in the first place!

Whatever you decide should be the ultimate design of your garden a Buddha statue, sculpture or wall plaque will bring a calming and contemplative focus to your garden and help you spend maybe just a little time away from the pressing engagements and stresses of modern life.  

It is always worth remembering the Buddha’s words “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”

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