Last October (that gives you an idea how remiss I am with posting!) I was fortunate to visit the Japanese Friendship Garden at the beautiful Balboa Park in sun-drenched San Diego. The visit was highlighted with a unique opportunity for an unexpected eyes-open meditative experience. As a Vipassana practitioner I normally find meditation with eyes open very distracting, but definitely not in this case!
The garden path leads to the Exhibit House, beautiful in its own right, which in turn opens to a viewing room overlooking a Sekitei, a traditional Japanese garden of gravel and meticulously placed stones. Each stone was carefully selected for its own shape and size and was imported from Yokohama, Japan!
The Sekitei enables a surprisingly effortless diffused meditative gaze, true to the website’s description:
Devoid of clutter, the bare simplicity of raked white gravel and grey rocks absorbs our thoughts, enabling a gaze without judgement, without criticism, nothingness, reaching the quietude of oneself.
In an effort to give some idea of the Sekitei appearance and meditative experience, I stitched together a series of photos into a wide-angle view. Enjoy!