Eheiji Monastery

The concept for the garden was strengthened that summer when I visited Eheiji a Soto Zen Buddhist monastery (Temple of Eternal Peace) in the western alps of Japan.

I was only allowed to stay there by agreeing to follow the practices of a Zen priest and initially having been locked in my bedroom, found myself in meditation sessions at 3 am and in other rituals. Importantly, I was able to view the formal monastery gardens set in woodland. It was a deeply spiritual and relaxing place.