Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Great Gardens of Second Life III – The Zen Garden at Miyagawacho

 Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar.

Jim Butcher


This story returns to a theme I’ve been blogging about recently, the Great Gardens of Second Life (SL).

I write often about the communities that I encounter inworld as I wander about the Grid.  However, sometimes I feel I don’t give enough credit to the worlds that these communities inhabit.

Afterall, who would visit SL if all it was were nothing but avatars bouncing around and chattering on a green screen?

In particular, the gardens of SL are in many cases beautiful examples of craftsmanship and landscaping combined with excellent scripting skills.  Like their Real Life (RL) counterparts, they provide a refuge from the busy lives we lead, both virtual and real, or to sometimes be alone with a partner and pass the time.

So far, I’ve visited two gardens in SL, Asian Victorian Gardens and First UCC.  Each was constructed for a different purpose by different inworld groups.  Yet each adds to the greater beauty of SL and to the common weal (Significant Other winces whenever I use an underused word.) that we all share here.

My selection for my third story about the Great Gardens of SL is a bit different. 

My selection is much smaller than the other two and constructed for a very different purpose.  Yet, for these very reasons, I feel that it’s one of the Great Gardens of SL.

This time I’ll blog about the Zen garden at Miyagawacho. 

Some of my readers may recall that I first went to Miyagawacho when I was invited to visit with the geisha.  That was when I first visited the garden.  A second, brief visit occurred when I returned to do a story about the streets of Miyagawacho.

Both times, I noted the garden and promised myself to return and write about it.  (Significant Other always looks doubtful about my promises to return.)

Now, is that time!

While not on the same geographic scale as the first two gardens I’ve reviews and certainly not as complex, this garden called out to me with its simplicity.  (I won’t repeat what Significant Other says.)

But then drawing from its roots in Zen this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

Traveling to the garden means rezzing into Miyagawacho several blocks from the garden itself.  A brief walk down the main street to a T-junction and a right turn followed by an even shorter walk leaves one standing in front of the garden’s gate.

(For those who are wondering what the name of this garden is, I haven’t found one yet.  I’m not surprised because this would be in line with Zen teachings about not promoting one’s self.)

The day that I chose to visit, it’s snowing.  (That’s another wonderful thing about SL how it can mimic RL and I don’t even have to put my Wellies on!)  The snow falling and covering the ground adds to the sense of calm and serenity which pervades this little corner of SL.

The garden is at the end of a cul-de-sac and it stands in contrast to the small town surrounding it.

I arrive at midday and the town’s streets are deserted.  Combined with the falling snow, I’m lost in my own thoughts.  (Significant Other believes this is a very scary place to be.)

The garden is in a classic Zen style although the snow now covers many of the details that I recall from past visits.

Natural objects like rock, sand, and gravel are used to give the desired effect.  Trees and shrubs are carefully placed and maintained.  The entire garden can be seen from the entrance.

A small open-sided sitting area is on the left hand side as one enters and a small tea house is in the rear.  (Please remember to remove your shoes before entering!)  A wall surrounds the garden.

Going round the tea house, one can see a spectacular view of the sea.  At this time of the year with snow on the ground and the trees, it’s especially beautiful. 

And that’s it!

I said it was small, didn’t I?

I strongly recommend a visit to the Zen garden in Miyagawacho for anyone looking to see a beautiful example of urban gardening inworld or looking for a quiet space for meditation and contemplation.

The garden stands in stark contrast to the busy lives that many of us lead in both SL and RL. 

And, as I can attest from own recent RL experiences, sometimes this is a very good thing to do!

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.         

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

          Open roads and kind fires!


Anonymous said...

I was actually quite drawn to the garden behind the Onsen, with its lovely water falls and platforms for quiet meditation

Starheart McMasters said...

You're doing a great job. So glad I found you on Twitter. Perhaps you would like to visit my place, Starhaven Springs Healing Retreat. Don't have an slurl at the moment, but you should find it in my profile. Not so zen, more lush and overgrown.

Prettyflower Vale said...

I really enjoy your posts, web, and am so glad that gardens od SL is one of your topics! As you might gather from my name, gardens and forests and nature and fantasy builds are my fave places to explore in Second Life. I look forward to checking out those you mention. If you'd like to check out a beautiful fantasy garden build, check out Zathyra, Spirit of Dreams. It's one of my faves. Xoxo, Prettyflower

webspelunker said...


Many thanks!

I've added it to the list!

Thanks for reading and commenting!



webspelunker said...


I'll be coming by!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Open roads and kind fires!