Japanese Garden of Contemplation
The Muromachi period in Japan (1333-1568) saw a flowering of traditional Japanese garden design. Design principles evolved from Buddhist Confucian and Taoist philosophies and combined with a keen observation of nature to produce gardens that were highly abstract, monochromatic visions of natural landscapes.
In a Japanese garden of this type your gaze is carefully directed and the garden is gradually revealed in stages, rather than being revealed at once in a panorama.
The pavilion is based on the Abbott's Quarters (hojo) in the famous Japanese garden of Daisen-in. On one side it looks out onto a dry landscape garden (karesansui). In expressing water without water and movement without movement, this garden expresses the contradictions that Zen practice attempts to transcend. On the other side is a scroll garden which must be viewed only from the pavilion. It is constructed to give an abstract interpretation of a natural landscape. Contemplating views such as these, monks would practice Zazen (deep meditation).