Japanese Gardens: A Journey Into Zen / by Mirena Rhee

Third edition of my book is on Amazon, I was born halfway around The World from Japan but I have long thought of it as my second home, more of a spiritual home.

Japanese, Zen, Garden, Kyoto, Photography, Poetry, Calm.

Mysterious and enigmatic, abstract and impenetrable, the Zen gardens of Kyoto are a product of enlightened and sophisticated culture whose aim was to transcend nature by means of a man made nature.

The empty space, the surrounding landscape and the frame of mind of the viewer are all part of the design. A design that transcends representation, meaning and ideology. A powerful idea distilled to simple ingredients, the evaporation of art as we know it.

The book is a collection of photographs I took and small poems I wrote during my journey to the Zen gardens of Kyoto. I felt it is impossible to untangle their mystery with the rational instrument of reason. It is a stream of visual and versed thoughts on the joyful occasion of simply being there.

The words express my frame of mind, using the verses᠆ superior ability to express my feelings.

This book is about the frame of mind and the geometry of calm that the Zen gardens of Kyoto represent. As there are no explanations on the walls of the gardens as to the meaning of the sand patterns, so is my book void of explanations and floats on a visual lotus, like an imaginary house.

This book is a photographic essay about the Zen gardens of Kyoto, designed specifically for the Kindle and features stunning, high-resolution photographs accompanied by small poems I wrote. It is crafted to create a calm space of the mind, a vision of tranquility and peace.

The title derives its name from an ongoing photographic chronicles - for more photographs of Japan and other projects please, visit dimmerlight.com, for more on the author visit mirenarhee.com

Here is a poem I wrote on occasion of completing the book:

Tranquil world of rocks, sand, trees, shrubs and moss. Little streams water the grounds. The colors are earthy and bright, no gusty winds dishevel the patterns. The wooden floors are swept clean. The mats lie still.

Landscape with peaceful shapes. It makes nice thoughts and asks deep questions. A design with no intent or angle. Whatever you bring you can take back. We don’t know who made it that way.

You can come back many times and find it just the same. Trees bend this way or that. Twigs flow here or there. Ponds flicker. Rocks ripple the sand a little.