My boyfriend is in love with the Japanese culture. He collects old samurai swords, paintings, and whatever else he can get his hands on that has to do with the culture.
Seeing how he is the only guy I have ever dated that had a hobby, I knew buying him Christmas and Birthday gifts would be easy. When I came across the Japanese Zen Garden at a local yard sale for only $5, I figured I had gotten away with an awesome gift for a steal. I had seen the very same zen garden for sale before but for ridiculous prices in ranges from $20-$100 or more.
I had one man in mind when buying this garden, and I knew he would become a sand gardening pro, or he would give up and dump it.
The Zen Garden came with an 11″X7″ black tray, a bag of white sand, some polished rocks, a wooden rake, a bamboo rake, and a small meditation booklet.
I remember one of my neighbors having a large sand garden on her coffee table, and she had such a steady hand while creating these works of art on sand. I was amazed, and at times felt compelled to touch her designs just to see if they were actually real. She must of been zen like, because no one has such a steady hand like that. I wondered if my boyfriend would be able to create such works on the sand. I doubted it, but then again…you never know.
I gave him the zen garden, and he opened it up and began working as if he knew what he was doing. I had a feeling things wouldn’t turn out so well though. He poured the sand into the box, and left the leftover sand in the bag and put it back into the box. He searched for the rakes, and used the bamboo rake to flatten out the sand.
He then placed 2 of the rocks onto the garden and began designing. Or so he thought. Basically I sat and watched him sloppily drag the wooden rake around the sands surface to create what he thought looked like waves. Really though, it was an amateurs attempt at being a professional zen garden designer.
Watching him for the few seconds he worked got on my nerves. I wanted my turn. I cleared his sloppy slate and removed the rocks. I planned on placing them on top of the sand after my design was done.
I slowly dragged the wooden rake along the surface. It was easy, but keeping a steady hand was harder than I thought it would be. I guess I wasn’t as good as I assumed I would be. Sand began to pile up in corners, and overall it looked like crap. But hey, at least I did a better job then he did.
We played around with the zen garden for a few minutes, and our designs started to look a little more straight and less sloppy then at first, however we were far, far, far from being pros.
The zen garden; although it is difficult to make nice designs is relaxing, so really that is all that matters. Maybe in 10 years I will be a zen garden master? Hehe!
I would recommend the Zen Garden to anyone who enjoys the Japanese culture, the beach, or gardening. It makes for a neat piece on a coffee table, and best of all is relaxing to do.
You can purchase a zen garden around Christmas time at Target, or by searching key word Zen Garden, or Sand Garden online. They have excellent sand gardens at www.officeplayground.com for great low prices.