A bench in the park and more (Japanese Edition)

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Forest bathing works similarly: Just be with trees. No hiking, no counting steps on a Fitbit. You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything. Berman tells the group—wearing shoes—that the human nervous system is both of nature and attuned to it. Planes roar overhead as the forest bathers wander slowly, quietly, under the green cathedral of trees.

Qing Li, a professor at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, measured the activity of human natural killer NK cells in the immune system before and after exposure to the woods. These cells provide rapid responses to viral-infected cells and respond to tumor formation, and are associated with immune system health and cancer prevention. This is due to various essential oils, generally called phytoncide, found in wood, plants, and some fruit and vegetables, which trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects. In other words, being in nature made subjects, physiologically, less amped.


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Subjects were more rested and less inclined to stress after a forest bath. Angular rocks representing cliffs align with smaller stones and pine and evergreen trees to evoke the sense of a larger river landscape. Another great temple complex, Daitoku-ji, also known as The Academy of the Great Immortals, was built in the 16th century. Daisen-ji, a smaller temple in the complex is recognized for its rock garden, which closely resembles those found in China. Finally leading to a bed of raked pebbles, the metaphorical rivers flow into an open ocean, signifying the end of life.

Nanzen-ji, the headquarters of the Nanzen-ji branch of Rinzai Zen, is known for its traditional rectangular-framed rock garden.

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Tiny white pebbles, groomed with a rake, suggest quiet ocean waves or the gentle wind across a pond. The garden also has a number of boulders, carefully placed across the field of gravel and intended to represent mountains or islands. Similar to a traditional Zen garden, the rectangular court has a wall surrounding it with plantings around the edge. Unique to this particular garden is the stone walkway and stone benches allow visitors to sit and observe the combed gravel bed that sits within the garden walls.

Located on top of Mt. Koya, Kongobu-ji is known as the Temple of the Diamond Mountain.

bench inside the park - Picture of Gresham Japanese Garden, Gresham

The stones are presented to suggest two dragons descending from the clouds to protect Kongobu-ji. Home to the first Zen garden in the U.

Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art is the only public museum devoted to the subject of religion. Sources: Gloaslowlife. Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi was best known for his minimalist sculptures featuring cut and manipulated stone. While living in New York, Noguchi maintained a studio in Japan, near to the home of a stonecutter, whose expertise would help guide the artist through numerous projects. Some of these rocks have been smoothed and manipulated by Noguchi, while others maintain their natural form. The garden is a compelling modern interpretation of a traditional Zen landscape.

Japanese immigrant and gardener Makoto Hagiwara, who also oversaw the initial building of the garden in the late 19th century, maintained the garden from until Each season as the leaves change, the landscape transforms and becomes alive. Sources: Kenninji. Perhaps intended to represent the bottom of a riverbed or great mountain range, the landscape is meant to promote contemplation and meditation.

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The dry landscapes of the two rock gardens incorporate traditional elements of Zen garden design including pristinely groomed gravel and large naturally shaped boulders. Absent of any greenery, the garden is located within a walled structure where visitors may sit and consider the serenity of their surroundings. The stone garden of Jisso-in has a number of modern features that make it unique among this collection of Zen gardens. An excellent example of an American interpretation of a Zen garden, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden has two distinct dry landscape gardens.

Large boulders represent the Rocky Mountains and smaller pebbles line the valleys in between.

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Also called the Temple of the Dragon at Peace, Ryoan-ji has what is known as the most famous Zen garden. The refined dry landscape has fifteen enormous stones placed inside square meters of highly polished white gravel.


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The monks residing at the temple groom the gravel each day and the stones are arranged within the space in five separate groups. The rocks of the garden were arranged so that only fourteen of the fifteen stones may be viewed at any given time from any angle.