How to Turn Your Backyard into the Perfect Meditation Garden
These days we spend so much of our days focusing on work, housework, and looking after the kids. Without that precious me-time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re doing all you can to reduce stress and illness and reassert balance in your life.
Meditation brings your mind and body back into balance so you’re ready to confront the challenges for the day ahead. It has proven to reduce stress, boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, increase your ability to focus, improve sleep, increase energy levels, and of course improve your mood.
Anyone can practise and benefit from meditation. But where you meditate can be important too. Have you ever tried to gain peace of mind amid a boisterous family gathering? Usually you have to take yourself out of the room to gather your thoughts.
So why not set up the perfect meditation space in your own little piece of the outdoors? The natural environment has a truly positive effect on your mind and body. When a loved one is sick, you bring them a touch of nature: usually a bouquet of flowers. Nature calms the mind and promotes good feelings, in turn lowering your stress levels and improving your health.
If you’ve ever found your inner-Zen when you go for a walk with the dog, you’ll know what we’re talking about. Combine meditation with nature and you’ll be a force to be reckoned with!
So what are the essential elements of a meditation garden?
There are no hard and fast rules for creating a meditation garden. After all, the purpose of the garden is to help you relax, which means it must be filled with things you love. But here are some helpful elements to consider incorporating into your reflection space:
Find the Perfect Meditation Surface
If you’re wanting a perfect meditation surface, you don’t want it to be too hot or too cold, too bumpy or lumpy, and too soft or hard.
Exploit the nature around you by sitting on a bed of soft grass. If that’s a bit too close to nature for comfort, a timber deck or bench may suit your purposes more. Wood is great for absorbing heat when it’s cold outside and for repelling it when it’s too warm. The natural element also blends well with the surrounding environment.
And if you’re looking for something softer, you can always add a plush layer between you and your seat. Use a beach towel or a yoga mat.
Plant Aromatic Flowers
When we have a warm bath or a lavish massage, we use oils or soaps with the most luscious, soothing fragrances. They’re popular because they immediately calm your senses and allow your body to relax. And they’re typically scented with all-natural ingredients you can find in your backyard meditation retreat.
Aromatic flowers and herbs can make you restful as soon as you step outside. Aloe, jasmine, rose, chamomile and lavender have particularly soothing perfumes.
Make sure that whatever you plant is low-maintenance. You don’t want to associate your meditation garden with hard work!
Sound-Proof Your Meditation Garden
Actually, there are only certain outdoor sounds you’ll want to stifle. The call of birds and the gentle whispering of leaves can add to a harmonious atmosphere.
But you don’t want to be jolted out of your tranquil state by the grinding of your neighbour’s lawnmower or a rev and screech of tires on the busy road across the way.
Shield your garden from these unwanted noises as much as possible using a natural fence of high, foliage-dense trees or a brushwood fence.
Not only will you muffle those nasty interruptions, you’ll also have some added privacy.
Build a Meditation Path
A gentle meander in your garden is sometimes all you need to slow the pace of your mind. Create a pebbled walk from your backdoor to your place of meditation, whether it’s a shaded grassy alcove or a small pergola. You’ll be more than ready to relax into meditation once you get there.
If you’re really serious about creating a meditation garden, you might want to install a labyrinth. This maze-like path is common in churches, monasteries and gardens and helps you lose track of both your direction and the outside world, stimulating contemplation.
Running water has always had a calming effect on people. The peaceful trickling can lull you into tranquillity.
Thankfully, installing running water in your backyard can be relatively easy these days. You can buy fountains and waterfall moulds from any outdoor stores. They range from basic to quite elaborate designs.
You can even build a fish pond and load it with aquatic creatures – you may be entranced by their slow, slippery movements!
Other Meditation Garden Ideas to Inspire You
In some countries, gardens are part of a time-honoured tradition of meditation. Here are our two favourite sources of inspiration:
Zen Gardens are designed with meditation in mind, which makes them ideal inspiration! The point of a Zen Garden, also known as a Japanese rock garden, is simplicity using elements purposely designed to soothe and heal. Raked, pebbled surfaces mimic the ripples of water, while carefully placed rocks suggest mountains. Pinterest is a great place to find zen-spiration.
Chinese gardens are filled with fish ponds, bridges, pathways, small pagodas and sculptures. These are all typical features to encourage meditation and it’s worth venturing to your local Chinese gardens (they’re strangely popular in Australia) to steal some good ideas.
Creating a meditation garden is easy. You can choose to tweak certain aspects of your beloved pre-existing yard or give it an entire makeover to make it meditation-friendly. All that matters is that you create something that instantly sets you in a good mood. Then your meditation will come naturally.
Looking for more inspiration?
Want to turn your backyard into the ultimate retreat? Check out these other ideas brought to you by Australian Outdoor Living