Mini Zen Gardens for Meditation & Contemplation

More than just a beautiful accent piece for the home, zen gardens are wonderful tools for reflection and meditation. You can design a zen garden anyway you’d like, using an assortment of different colors of sand, crystals, rocks, natural materials, small objects and items.

© Alexandra Christina Photography

I like to hit up yard sales and thrift stores sometimes just to see what can I do with the cool stuff I find. I stumbled upon a small square object made from stone a few months back. It was the perfect size to place as a centerpiece on my island in my kitchen. I went to the dollar store to buy some sand for it, although you can go to any beach and gather a bag of sand for free, I wanted to start my zen garden right away! They didn’t have any fine grain sand so I went for the larger grain sand they had. It actually worked out perfectly, I bought a bag of black sand and a bag of white sand and mixed them together. The idea of harmony and contrast was on mind lately, I wanted to convey this idea in my zen garden.

© Alexandra Christina Photography

I already had some pieces of small gold jewelry, crystals and rocks that I’ve collected over the years. Without thinking about it, I started to place the items in the sand, allowing my mind to stay blank and only used my eyes and fingers as guides for their placement. For this particular design, I didn’t use the tiny rake provided, but you can use it to create patterns in the sand throughout your design. The brush I used to sweep sand off of the objects and sides of the stone.


By the time I was done, I felt more tranquil and calmer than when I started. As I stared at my zen garden design, I saw the way I placed the objects in the design and its overall appearance. I reflected on it for a little while and the story it told was exactly what I’ve been feeling the past few weeks. Feelings on self-empowerment, self-love and memories of my childhood were staring right back at me through my design.

Zen gardens are a simple and very powerful way to gain clarity and to release blocked thoughts and feelings. The best part is you can rearrange your zen garden as often as you’d like and allow friends and family to partake in the design as well!