See the Sacred Stones Within Zen Living


The Japanese Garden with all of it's senses has been an instrument in reaching the sacred for many centuries. The Masters of Japanese Garden Design have passed on their knowledge for many generations in Japan and have influenced gardeners throughout the world. The art of the Japanese garden is to re-create the natural landscape. Stone placement has always been one of the most important design elements. Arranging stones within placement of the water has extensive meaning and representation in the history of Japanese Garden Masters. After sharing time with the Master Japanese Garden Designer Hoichi Kurisu in Portland, Oregon... the dedication and importance of his understanding was revealed to me in such a manner  that I now respect every stone that I work with. Sometimes stones need to be removed from a design or a Koi pond for they serve no greater purpose other than covering or filling in a space. In a Japanese Garden, we are in awe of the garden and the tranquility that seems to transcend us to another level.

In our every day Zen Living, not all of us have a Japanese Garden or a Koi Pond or possibly even want one. Yet we are still intrigued by those we visit.. locally in Chicago there is beautiful Osaka Garden in Jackson Park, the Malott Japanese Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford and the intimate Fabyan Japanese Garden in Geneva, Illinois. Here at The Koi Whisperer Sanctuary I have a two acre canvas of which the Japanese gardens I have visited are an inspiration for me to continue my work here with the Koi and their environment. We all have a canvas, and it is what we see and expose ourselves to that will place the imprint on our very soul.

Seeing the sacred, whether it is a stone, the wind or rain is a part of the Japanese faith of Shinto and is deeply rooted in the culture and traditions that sacred spirits take forms in the physical environment. Stones are an element that are respected as "Kami", a sacred spirit or Shinto God. Japanese Gardens have a strong spiritual connection and Shinto beliefs show respect in honoring  the stones, water, and trees of the natural world. Stone groupings represent mountains, islands and seas. So how can we see the sacred, the spiritual in our every day life? It is having respect of nature and seeing the divinity that lives in our very own garden.

Love and Light... M

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    MaryEllen Malinowski

    Zen Living by design is a division of Infrared Light International, a lifestyle design company that enlightens, educates and empowers clients to connect with living an extraordinary life based on the simple elements of nature, water, light and tranquility. Founded by MaryEllen Malinowski in 1994, The Infrared Light Gallery®’s success is based on eastern art, lifestyle, designs, travel and international design concepts that make people’s homes, business and personal well being reflect a simplified Zen Living. "M" is an international award winning fine art infrared photographer, published author, Japanese garden designer and Executive Director of The Koi Whisperer Sanctuary & Japanese Gardens in St. Charles, Illinois. MaryEllen's fine art infrared prints have sold at Sotheby's in New York, and her lifetime dedication to Asian design has developed into her creations of mesmerizing Japanese Garden designs and water gardens that can be found in estate homes and properties in the U.S. MaryEllen's dedication to Living Art, The Nishikigoi of Japan ( Koi) has opened up to an international mission of Koi Keeping. A lifetime pursuit of developing a magazine is in the works and Zen Living by design Magazine will be coming Spring 2015.

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