Palm Beach

May 21, 2013

An afternoon at Morikami Japanese Gardens Delray Beach

Wikipedia defines zen as: “A Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or study of scriptures.”  ”Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and the personal expression of direct insight in the Buddhist teachings. As such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of doctrine”

Urban Dictionary explains zen: “One way to think of zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.”

Morikami Japanese Gardens, the bamboo grove. photo credit

It was here in the Bamboo Grove at Morikami Japanese Gardens that I heard the voice of my own zen.

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens provides an authentic Japanese cultural experience that is entertaining, educational, and inspirational. We arrived around 2pm on Sunday, the park closes at 5pm we only had time  to explore the gardens; our next visit, the museum.

The Morikami Japanese Gardens reflect major periods of Japanese garden design from the eighth to the 20th century. The Morikami Japanese Gardens consist of shinden islands, paradise garden and contemporary garden. According to the garden designer, Hoichi Kurisu, each garden is intended to express the character and ideas of a unique counterpart in Japan without attempting to duplicate those gardens, and seamlessly flow together as one garden.

In its labyrinth style design, the seamless flow of the Morikami Gardens becoming one, is most definitely achieved.

The expansive Morikami Gardens will undoubtedly plant seeds of tranquility and peace within you. This post is about the highlights of the gardens I discovered. The sheer beauty of some designs in the gardens took my breath away while others, in its startling rawness captivated my soul.

Shishi Odoshi “Deer Chaser” Morikami Gardens

Make a Wish.

A Shishi Odoshi is a water fountain typically made of bamboo. The purpose of the fountain is to startle animals that graze on plants in the garden by making a clatter sound. The fountain is a see-saw balance if you will; water trickles into the upper end of the tube shifting its center of gravity, causing the tube to tilt and pour out the water which then allows the heavier end of the tube to fall back against the rock, making a clatter sound.  Funny how anytime people see a water fountain they are compelled to make a wish and throw random change into the water. I was no different, re-enacting the title of the classic 1954 film, Three Coins in the Fountain; the only thing missing, Dean Martin serenading my wish moment.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Magnificent Morikami archway. It was in this [Cattley Guava] garden archway and in the bamboo grove that something so esoteric happened that I cannot find the words to explain it, and certainly not for the lack of trying. In a very inexplicable way….a funny thing happened in them thar gardens.

Cattley Guava archway; Morakami Japanese Gardens

Not crystal clear pristine waters by any stretch of the imagination but awesome in its most primitive state.

Morikami Japanese Gardens

Words such as tranquil, intimate, discovery and insightful find their meaning here within the harmony of nature.

Morikami Falls, at Morikami Japanese Gardens

There’s just something about gardenias.

Morikami Japanese Gardens

Interspersed within The Morikami Gardens are numerous, bridges, pavilions and benches each lending its own contemplative scenario to “listen with your eyes and see with your ears” 

Morikami Japanese Gardens

All that glitters is not gold.

In a crude and organic state beauty abounds; you just have to look for it.

Morikami Japanese Gardens

John Naka, American horticulturist and bonsai master said, “the morning dew, how brilliantly it sparkles, how fleeting”

When you find your inspiration fleeting, there is a place within the gardens at Morikami where you will be able to renew your sparkle. You just have to look for it.

Morikami Japanese Gardens

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens 4000 Morikami Park Road Delray Beach, FL 33446 (561) 495-0233. Click here for hours of operation and admission fees.

Click here to view more photos we took at Morikami Japanese Gardens.


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