Healing Garden in a Monastery

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In the excerpts from last week, I loved reading about how gardens used to be included in monasteries and other healing places as a form of therapy for sick individuals that would go there. When I was in Guatemala last year, I found an old monastery that had been turned partly into a museum. One of my favorite places there was the large garden surrounded by archways. The garden had a big fountain in it, which I'm not sure was original to the design. However, with the beautiful flowers, greenery dripping from the archways, and the sound of water, it was a truly relaxing place. I don't know if it would have had therapeutic use, so it may have actually been a healing garden. Whatever the definition of the place, it was absolutely beautiful. I'm sure that when the area was actively a monastery, everyone loved being in the garden as much as I did when I was there.

It seems like many others in this class have been a fair number of places. I wonder, has anyone else been to a therapeutic landscape or healing garden, new or old?

Cloistered Garden Ruins (480x640).jpg

*Monastery garden ruins in Antigua, Guatemala

1 Comment

Wow, what an amazing picture! You're right, that does look like it could have easily served as a therapeutic landscape or healing garden.

I haven't done a lot of traveling outside of the U.S. but one of my favorite personal examples of an unexpected therapeutic landscape was found at a bed and breakfast I stayed at in Stillwater a couple of years ago. The bed and breakfast was a stately victorian mansion and an old labyrinth was set into the side yard under the shaded canopy of several massive oak trees.

I woke up early in the morning and walked the labyrinth trail several times in the cool mist of dawn and felt a great sense of stillness and peace. It was nice to have a quiet, purposeful distraction that allowed my mind and body to wander before the city awoke.

It's always good to remember there are many examples not far from home. Sometimes we just have to open our eyes and look.

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This page contains a single entry by Amy L. published on February 22, 2013 5:41 PM.

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