8 zen garden ideas for peace and relaxation at home


We owe a debt of gratitude to the centuries-old culture of Japan. Consider the complementary concepts of wabi-sabi and kintsugi, which have helped Westerners appreciate the beauty of imperfections. Japan has presented foodies around the world with delicious edible offerings – sushi and ramen, of course, but also tonkatsu, okonomiyaki, matcha and onigiri.

Chances are, you use and enjoy several of Japan’s most influential exports: Nintendo, karaoke, QR codes, judo, emoji, Pokemon, sudoku, to name just a handful of the Asian nation’s cultural contributions.

Another gift from Japan to people around the world is Zen Buddhism. We will leave the debate on its definition – is it a religion, a philosophy, a practice, a way of life, all of that? – for another time. Today we focus on the Zen aesthetic, which is based on simplicity, beauty, peace and oneness with nature. The maven of the Marie Kondo organization has helped transform our interiors into sacred minimalist spaces; now zen inspired garden design ideas render a similar service for our outdoor living spaces.

Related: 9 Asian American Architects Who Influenced Our Skylines

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