Sometimes, after a hard day, fresh air and time in the sunshine is all you need to reset. The sunlight on your face is warming and soothing. With the gentle breeze, you can almost imagine that you’re at the beach. Well, until you open your eyes.
It’s a relatively nice backyard, with a tall, beautiful tree perfect for a hammock. A garden would be lovely in the far right corner, but you haven’t found the time yet. Where would you even begin?
Start with creating a simple, but inspirational, outdoor meditation garden. You don’t have to be a meditation expert to create a space in your backyard for achieving a state of calmness and centeredness.
Here are 4 few steps to get you started with manifesting a soothing, outdoor space for inner peace:
1. Use Your Imagination
Stand within your backyard and go to an area that draws you in. Is there a particular tree that you sometimes sit at the base of, where you watch the squirrels chase each other?
Don’t notice flaws. Close your eyes and allow your five senses to take in the area. Now, let your imagination run wild. What do you envision? Perhaps you see a small waterfall or pond. There is an herb garden and a comfortable chair for you to observe the butterflies. Perhaps a canopy is attached to your favorite tree, so that you watch the sunlight flickering through the leaves.
Open your eyes and look at the possibilities. Sketch and write down what you have seen, to quickly draw inspiration from later. Imagination opens up your heart and mind. Let yourself be inspired in the creation of your outdoor sacred space.
2. Know How To Battle a Bumpy Backyard
Bumpy, hilly and uneven ground can easily make you rethink any project to transform your backyard. Even hilly backyards have charm. Reimagine your backyard as an isle off the coast of Scotland or Ireland, where the faeries have made their homes. Let the charm lend itself to the construction of a magical meditation garden. Don’t give up! Don’t make the creation of your outdoor meditation garden harder than necessary.
If you have a hilly or uneven backyard, your meditation garden is still possible. DIY a hardscaping project to make your yard even, or call in a professional landscaper or contractor to get straight to the solution for you. If you do contact a professional, you should ask for a record of equipment history to be certain all their equipment is up to code before it’s brought into your backyard.
3. Defining and Outlining Your Space
When you walk into your meditation garden, do you want to feel like you’re in another world? Would you prefer for others not to enter your sacred space? Utilize plants and structures to outline the territory of your sacred space and communicate its intention.
- A line of small trees provides a natural, open wall of stately sentinels guarding your space of centering. Certain trees need room to grow, both above and below ground. Be sure to know where your septic lines run and plan accordingly.
- Remodeling a patio presents the perfect opportunity to create a courtyard, especially if you want to do yoga or practice Tai Chi in this space.
- Do you want shelter from the rain? Purchasing or constructing a loggia, yurt or an enclosed pavilion provides protection from the elements and room to move around.
- Create a simple, winding labyrinth from bricks, stones or other natural elements. The act of walking a labyrinth is about the journey to the inner self and the return to reality with any wisdom you have gained.
- Use herbal plants and their symbolism to emphasize the intention of your space. Mints such as sage and rosemary smell amazing and they also help to keep away pests like mosquitoes. Rosemary is said to be good for memory retention and symbolizes prosperity and creative energy.
4. Choose a Focal Point
A focal point will help you to also channel the intention of your space more strongly. This point within your space is aesthetically appealing and draws the eye across the layout of your garden. There are many ways to create a focal point within your outdoor meditation garden:
- Build a simple altar. Do you follow a particular spiritual path or wish to honor nature? Add statues of the Goddess Venus for love or the Buddha for inner peace. Creating a small raised space with candles and items that symbolize the four elements of earth, air, fire and water to enhance your connection to nature and your inner self.
- Construct a small pond. A DIY pond is easy to create: Make an oasis from an old tire or other objects you have around your home. The result is a beautiful, reflective retreat.
- Make the seating area the center. Place a bench in the center of your garden, so that in every direction you turn, you find beauty.
- Add a “centerpiece” within your garden. Work with a landscape artist to create a striking garden within a garden. Perhaps you have a wild butterfly and bee garden within the center of evergreen shrubs. Consider creating or commissioning an artist to make a sculpture for the focal point of your meditation garden.
Creating an outdoor meditation garden is a simple and rewarding way to improve your backyard and uncover a place to retreat to at the end of the day. All you need is a little imagination, initiative and ingenuity.
Close your eyes and envision your sacred space. Know that your vision for this space may change over time. This is your space to alter in any way that you need and desire. For many years to come, you’ll have a beautiful and soothing outdoor place to call your own whenever you need to visit it.
She also enjoys writing, reading and hiking with her faithful mutt when she's not designing. You can typically find her browsing a farmer's market orholed up in a local book shop with a cup of coffee.