A Stroll through the Rock Garden

As I continue to enjoy the beauty of summer in Brooklyn, I am drawn to the simple, quiet places where I know crowds do not gather or overwhelm. This afternoon I wanted to find such a place to walk and pondered where to go.

This morning I had been thinking of the Zen aesthetic concept of wabi-sabi (侘 寂) which appreciates what is transient and imperfect in nature. It provided a counter-balance to the Aristotelian-Scholastic philosophy that I was reading, which demeaned matter as imperfect and impermanent.

I also had been thinking lately of ancient Chinese petrophilia, or the love of rocks, the ethical-aesthetic view, compatible with Taoist attunement to nature, that Zen Buddhists distilled into the beautiful minimalism of rock gardens in Zen Japanese temples.

So when I ventured out for my late afternoon saunter, I decided to visit the Rock Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I did not go in search of a Zen landscape, but I went for a walk in a spirit of wabi-sabi.

Map at Rock Garden’s entrance

I entered the garden with reverence and walked through it in attentive silence. Rocks and plants, in their harmony, provided me with a quiet joy as I strolled under the shade of great pin oaks and lovely evergreens.

My emerging sentipensamientos or feeling-thoughts are only partially articulated right now, so I better keep them to my self. But I want to share these images, an imperfect, visual testimony of my heart-nourishing saunter through the garden.

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