Monday, December 13, 2010

Meditation Garden Dedication

The Meditation Garden at Sky's the Limit had its dedication ceremony on Sunday, December 5. Bill is the garden's official photographer, so unless otherwise noted, the photos on this post are his--thanks Bill! Above: an overview of the garden and the assembled crowd, looking towards 29 Palms.

This project came about due to the vision and persistence of Ray Yeager, aided by his wife, Shirley. (That's my photo above.) Ray designed the garden according to the centuries-old tradition of Japanese dry landscape gardening. The rocks are carefully chosen for their shapes and precisely placed according to the guidelines in an 11th century Zen Buddhist garden manual, which stipulates that such a garden should reflect the local scenery.

The ceremony featured chanting by two Buddhist monks from the local Thai Forest Monks' Monastery in Landers. Yes, it is true, the Thai Forest Monks live in the desert, where they are creating a beautiful oasis--with lots of trees, of course.

After the chanting, Abbot Pradit Abhijato sprinkled water on the attendees, then circled the garden and sprinkled water on it. The sun chose that very moment to come out. The boundary of Joshua Tree National Park comes right up to the edge of the Meditation Garden--there couldn't be a better spot for a garden like this. There's also a Nature Trail with benches for contemplation like this one, dedicated by our friends Phyllis and Richard Schwartz.

For more information about Sky's the Limit--which has plans for an Observatory and Nature Center on the site--click here