This eBook takes an overview of the origins of Buddhist gardens and their spread of Buddhist in India, China, Japan and other parts of SE Asia. Buddhism began in India and spread to East Asia in the first millennium and is now one of the fastest-growing belief systems in the Europe, and the Americas. It was also a major influence on the development of Chinese and Japanese gardens. Historians tend to recognize this in Japan but ignore the influence of Buddhism on Chinese gardens for what seem to be political reasons.
The eBook has 10,300 words, 50 thumbnail-size illustrations and links to Wikipedia, Gardenvisit.com and other websites with additional information and illustrations. The cover photo is of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka.
Buddhism has been a major influence on garden design. And Buddhist gardens can contribute to the development of an environmental ethic, which is being called Green Buddhism, Environmental Buddhism and Eco-Buddhism.
Gardens had a prominent place in the Buddha's life and his teaching influenced the making of gardens in the Indian subcontinent, China, Korea, Japan and much of south and east Asia. This included the making of Pure Land Gardens and Zen Gardens in Japan. They were influenced by ideals and were practical examples of how to 'design with nature'. This phrase comes from the title of a book by a Scots-American landscape architect, Ian McHarg. Traditional Buddhist gardens are widely interpreted as being in harmony with nature.
This eBook concludes with suggestions about the ways in which Buddhism can influence the design of future. It is a contribution to what Donald K. Swearer called eco-constructivism An assessment of Buddhist eco-philosophy (2005).
The eBook has 7700 words and two illustrations. The cover photograph is of the garden in which the Buddha was born, Lumbini in Nepal.