- Publisher: Sunbelt Publishers-Sunbelt Med (2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0924381256
- ISBN-13: 978-0924381256
- Package Dimensions: 6.9 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,713,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Zen of Watering Your Garden Paperback – Color, 2007
This 152 page book is a collection of 145 full color photographs (contributed by some twenty photographers from all over the world) juxtaposed with nearly 70 aphorisms, sayings and poems (from many different sources). For the gardener, this book will help inspire one to continue or return to hand-watering. As doing so brings; a Zen-like experience, a closeness to Nature's wonders and to water the source of life, and to your inner being, your soul. For the gardener wanabee the book will help rekindle experiences or encourage new endeavors. Googling zen of watering will take you to a location that will give you a sense of the book's contents. These books will be great gifts for friends, for family, for your sanity. NOTE THERE ARE 100'S OF BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON--THE SITE SAYS 1 NEW AND USED BECAUSE AMAZON IS THE ONLY VENDOR. ADJUST THE NUMBER OF BOOKS AFTER YOU PUT ONE IN YOUR MARKET BASKET-SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION.
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The Zen meditative experience, among its many purposes, holds at bay all that would detract us from the vitality of the present moment. Its goal is to immerse us completely in the here and now, to drive past and future from our consciousness and reintroduce our senses to the only moment of our life that is substantively real. We are allowed to settle, to rest, to reshape and reform our tattered selves, to open ourselves to the inexplicable. And eventually we learn to take these wholly present moments as our companions through time, allowing them to sooth the remembered past which distracts and threatens to undo us.
In his book Zen of Watering Your Garden, Dr. Cohen merges both these experiences into a powerful, yet peaceful, gift. With photographs - his own and others - which often rise to the level of art, Cohen lures us into our own memories of two of life's essential encounters with nature: the growing plant and the soothing shower which sustain. He accompanies these photographs with gentle, poignant, and at times breathtaking passages - his own and others -- which pull the reader even deeper into the encounter. This alone is sufficient commendation for the book, which should be in everyone's library.
But Cohen's gift to us is greater than just his book, rich though it is. In his introduction (don't miss it!), Cohen describes the heart of the Zen experience which awaits us in the garden, the experience of transcendence, centeredness, and tranquility. He deftly uses the powers of art and language to capture our imagination, pulling us along the path into the healing garden which can be found in diverse forms wherever we are. He offers us the secret of the garden's healing power, the quiet engagement with the plant not only in its beauty but also in its nurture. In sharing with the plant the water it needs to survive, the same water we must have to survive, we become companions in life's renewing moment. In return, we receive surcease and peace.
Dr. Cohen speaks of what he knows, the risks of deep engagement with a world filled with pain, confusion, and need. In his own medical practice, he learned what many of us have learned, that without a safe place for retreat and renewal, that way be madness. He teaches us that miraculously, this place awaits us just outside our kitchen door, or in the sunroom, or down the street in the park. Go, run, now.
The most striking feature of this book is indisputably the dazzling photographs, which exhibit not only the magnificent color and form of a variety of plants but also, and probably most important, the many ways in which flora accentuates the beauty of water and vice versa. The pages are filled with images of plant life illuminated by globes of dew and sprinkles of rain, making each flower petal brighter and each leaf greener.
The text, including many quotes handed down by older, wiser, and closer-to-nature generations, serves to illuminate each photograph and enlarge its beauty beyond the eye and towards the intellect. From E.B. White's admonition that man spend less time trying to "outwit Nature" and "more time respecting her seniority" to Aristotle's simple observation that there is always "something marvelous in nature," the words complement the images and furnish the book with a larger meaning. Some quotes match the photographs perfectly, such as Shelley's "ten millions gathered there/ to tremble, gleam and disappear" juxtaposed with the image of a dandelion populated by countless drops of dew that will soon "disappear" as the sun rises. Other famous quotations are mirrored by the author's own words in a sort of call-and-response style. For instance, Emerson says, "the rain comes when the wind calls," and Cohen ("mmc") responds, "the branches bow; the bark stalls." Later, the author also answers a line by Mark Twain. This technique, along with the author's weaving of his own phrases (as well as his friends' and family members') throughout the book with legendary quotations, creates an interesting connection between the world of famous writers, thinkers, prophets, etc. with a more personal and contemporary sphere of life.
Zen of Watering Your Garden is a pleasing combination of thought-provoking text and colorful images of garden life. It is one of those books to be tasted and slowly reflected upon, especially when one finds him or herself in need of a bit of inspirational gardening poetry (and prose).
Sarah Clarke Stuart
Writing Program Instructor
Univeristy of North Florida
I am approaching my middle 80's and find that as I water my few outdoor plants, I derive a sense of tranquility watching life additions taking place. As I thumb through the lavish, vivid photographs and read the commentary, this book stimulates my senses intensifying the experience of watering. I never fully appreciated the rewards from simply nurturing our local flora. How simple is the act of watering in your garden and yet what joy can result.
Thanks to the author and contributors to the "Zen of Watering Your Garden" for adding a new dimension of sensory perception to my remaining "Golden" years.
Matt's phtography and his aphorisms struck a deep core within me.
Do go purchase this book,if only to nurture your soul.