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Gardening zen: creating a chillout space in your backyard *

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Meditation is a wonderful thing. It can keep you balanced, calm, focused and can give you that inner peace that is so difficult to achieve these days.

If you have the luxury of your own home and garden, you may want to think about making your own meditation space in the comfort of your own garden. It is a common practice to meditate in a calm area. So why don't you create that space for yourself?

There is no right or wrong way to create a space that is calming for you, as it is entirely what you want it to be.  It can be your safe haven from the stressful world, or where you can go to relax and contemplate things like life changes away from prying eyes.

If you need a little guide on where to begin, here are some handy tips.

Get inspired...

Go online and see what types of gardens inspire you the most. Maybe a traditional Japanese style garden appeals to you? But ultimately it is what you want a relaxing space to be for you! The best way to look at this is to imagine it as another room in your house, albeit an outdoor one. Colours, shapes, styles are all things that can get your imagination ignited. So start to think about it.

Start off with the basic groundwork...

Regarding what you want to achieve with your Meditation garden, it will depend on a few things:

The Size: You need to work out how large your meditation area will be. And also, depending on your living situation, you may wish to plan how you are going to separate yourself from the rest of the garden. If you are living with other people, it may be more of a challenge to divide yourself from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the garden. You could use things like hedgerows, plant pots, a fence gate, or a bench, etc. to give you that separation.

The Sound Levels: How silent is your garden at the moment? You may need to create natural sound blockers such as fences or hedges and other structures. If you are in a quiet neighbourhood that is half the battle won.  You may also want to encourage some wildlife into your garden for natural soothing sounds like birds chirping.

The Terrain Of The Land: Trying to create a place of comfort is difficult based on the ground itself. If there is a lot of grass, or the land is sloped, you will need to work out these issues.

The Views You Get From The Garden: Are there any nice views in your garden that you could use as feature points of your meditation? For example, a view that inspires me is a collection of wildflowers that are very vibrant in colour.  Finding a reference to frame your meditation with will help make your session more relaxing. If you do not have anything in your garden you may wish to purchase something like a bamboo hedge, as this can obscure unsightly views like fences or walls, as well as help to create privacy in the garden.

Time To Meditate...

After you have been inspired and started to create your meditation space, sit back, relax and close your eyes...