Roger von Oech

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      Comments

      David L Warner

      I love that you put the Ball of Whacks into the zen garden. A great way to project yourself onto the work, for just a few minutes. What's great about the zen garden, and which your description captures so well, is that the experience is determined by the viewer and the weather. Rather than dictating a certain interpretation, the artist has provided a minimal set of focal points to guide the viewer to her own interpretation.

      Dick Richards

      Nice Roger. I've been attracted to the feeling and symbolic richness of Zen gardens for some time. But...the only one I ever visited was in Mexico! Thanks for the real thing.

      Mark McGuinness

      I went to Ryoan-ji in January and my experience was dictated by the scaffolding all over the back wall! I tried to persuade myself that it wasn't very 'Zen' to want the garden to be in pristine condition, but I'm glad to see it's back to it's full (or rather minimalist) glory.

      Roger von Oech

      David: Yes, it was fun putting the Ball of Whacks in the garden. I felt just a tad bit guilty, but I felt it was in keeping of the spirit of the place. (And only for one minute!)

      Dick: I think you get the "real" thing anywhere, but yes, being Kyoto certainly helps one get into the mood to experience it.

      Mark: What a shame (to have the scaffolding), but you were probably able to make some connections that escaped me.

      Bryan

      Regarding Ryoanji, I thought it was interesting that you mentioned not including a picture with all 15 rocks. If I'm not mistaken, you would have had to do the impossible to take that picture! The garden was set up so that from no place on the platform can you see all 15 rocks. There is always one hidden, that you have to see "with your third eye". Very Zen.

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      The influence of Zen on garden design was (probably) first described as such by Kuck in the early 20th century and disputed by Kuitert by the end of that century. What is not disputed is the fact that karesansui garden scenery was (and still is) inspired (or even based on) originally Chinese and later also Japanese, landscape paintings.

      Though each garden is different in its composition, they mostly use rock groupings and shrubs to represent a classic scene of mountains, valleys and waterfalls taken from Chinese landscape painting. In some of them the view also incorporates existing scenery, e.g. the hills behind, as "borrowed scenery" (using a technique called Shakkei).

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      Nice Roger. I've been attracted to the feeling and symbolic richness of Zen gardens for some time. But...the only one I ever visited was in Mexico! Thanks for the real thing.

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      Motivating! The small garden do look like a miniature island,looking at the pictures just took my imagination to another world. I think its one of the best ways to relief stress.

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      This is really cool, I want to do this in my own lawn someday. Thanks for posting.

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