come set foot

September 6th, 2011

Last year I was visited by a filmmaker making a documentary about Japanese gardens. By the time we met in my backyard, she had spoken with many experts and had hundreds of hours of footage, but she was still confused about Zen Buddhism and the metaphors illustrated by a Zen garden. I tried to simplify things for her. That’s what Zen does for our lives: simplify the way we see it, so that we no longer confuse one thing for another, and see it whole.

Come set foot into the garden.


  1. I come visit, one day. I will.

    Comment by Roos — September 6, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  2. great video. it echoes a lot of what i was discussing with a relative this weekend as we talked about the sudden and unexpected death of her oldest child a week ago today. i’m going to send her this video.
    i’ll see you on saturday in Richmond, Tx and party like zen rock stars.


    Comment by zenfant — September 7, 2011 @ 5:02 am

  3. Thank you for this.

    Comment by Jim Cuvelier — September 7, 2011 @ 6:08 am

  4. Thank you, Karen. I’ve watched it many times.

    Comment by Ines — September 7, 2011 @ 11:13 am

  5. Me too Ines. I’ve watched it for what seems like forever!

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — September 7, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  6. Are all the images in the film from your garden?

    What is the Buddhist response to despoiling of the natural world from which there is no separation?

    Comment by Laura — September 7, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  7. Laura, many of the images interspersed are from the great gardens of Kyoto.

    To answer your question: How do you respond? For me, I weep, and then I clean up. There is always something we can do.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — September 7, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

  8. Maezen, I am blessed with your companionship, and I’m so grateful you exist in this ordinary world.

    Comment by Kathryn — September 8, 2011 @ 11:52 am

  9. Yes Kathryn, and when it comes right down to it, we are each the luckiest person on this great earth. How could it be otherwise?

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — September 8, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  10. Beautiful film. I loved seeing this…

    Comment by Bobbi — September 12, 2011 @ 6:18 am

  11. So beautiful to watch and to think about. Makes me think of my garden in a new way. Thank you for your teaching Maezen.

    Comment by Anna Katherine — September 19, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

  12. It makes me weep, too.

    Comment by Stacy @ Sweet Sky — September 27, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

archives by month