Buddhas in Gardens
Statues 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: Read more now on tengah ec
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.
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 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 Gardens