The Noble Eightfold Path of Organic Zen Gardening

Our effort is to awaken in ourselves and the many people who come here the bodhisattva spirit, the spirit of kindness and realistic helpfulness. This is how we offer our understanding of Buddha's Way with everyday practice engaged with the action and spirit of Zen mind of organic Zen gardening.

As part of our healing the earth and protecting the environment the Sarasota Zen Center offers a closed system permaculture aquaponics farming education and participation program to SZC Sangha congregation members.

As Buddhists, we recognize that we are inter-dependent with all life. From this position of “Oneness with All”, we ask what we can do for our environment. The SZC organic Zen gardening goals are to promote:

  • Understanding of the inherent ecological nature of Buddhism.

  • Establish ecologically friendly behavior through the established guidelines.

  • Recognition of the profound implications of our behavior on future generations.

  • Maintain an attitude of “mottai-n’ai” in our daily lives.

The Buddhist teachings of the Noble Eightfold Path is divided into categories-- wisdom, morality, and concentration. To make these categories clear in our Zen garden design we chose signage made with three primary colors: blue for clear-eyed wisdom, yellow for warm-hearted morality, and red for fiery concentration. 

For right view, in the wisdom section area of our garden we plant eyebright, a medical herb that fosters clear vision and for wisdom's matching virtue, right intention, we plant a rich mix of cover crop seed to fee the garden grounds. 

For morality section we chose the revered Threes Sisters plant trio of the Native American First Nations plant trio of antiquity and traditional ecological knowledge: corn, beans, and squash by planting dragon tongue beans for eight speech, open-pollinated golden bantam sweet corn for right action, and sugar pumpkins for right livelihood. 

In deep concentration we plant go-seed sunflowers for right effort, rosemary and lavender for right mindfulness, and stinging nettles for right concentration. 















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This Week at the Sarasota Zen Center