Cortesia Sanctuary

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Garden as Sanctuary

Copyright 2007, Cortesia Sanctuary

Gan Eden - The "Gardens of Joy"


The Interactive Features at Cortesia Sanctuary are numerous. They are always evolving and being refined. We believe that gardens and outdoor settings provide natural opportunies for reflection and contemplation. Nature is healing and regenerating to the soul, at the same time it evokes celebration, awe and wonder.

Our Interactive Features are unique in that they provoke engagement. We believe this is a wholly new concept to private gardens, although friendly and educational interaction has always been a key component of horticultural therapy. The interactive engagement often takes the form of a ritual gesture, best demonstrated by our Cares & Woes Fountain, the Peace Shrine and the Prayer Shrine.

Here are the current Interactive Features:
Gan Eden (the gardens) and Shantivan (the woods).

  • Angel Cards (Garden entrance)
  • Wind Chimes Blessing (Garden entrance)
  • Cares & Woes Fountain (Woodland Garden)
  • Prayer Shrine (Meadow Garden - raspberry trellis)
  • Peace Shrine (Meadow Garden - grape and kiwi trellises)
  • Gratitude Book (Meadow Garden - Grotto or Woodland Garden pond deck)
  • Meditation (Meadow Garden -Meditation Garden, Zen Bench, Umbrella Chair, Narana Water Garden, and more!)
  • Giveaway Fire Ritual (Meadow Garden - Courtyard)
  • Path of Wandering Souls (Shantivan, Sunset Trail)
  • Labyrinth (Shantivan)
  • Forest Shrine Peace & Grief altar (Shantivan)
  • Shikan Rock Towers (Shantivan - Guru Trail)
  • Fir, Oak, Ash and Maple Vortexes (Shantivan - various locations)

Visual Walk-Through of Some Interactive Features

In the following galleries a visiting couple enjoys some interactive features
in the Meadow Garden

Visitors are greeted with Angel Cards at Entrance Gate

Entrance Greeting Dais

Angel Cards - Closeup

Selecting an Angel Card

Path Beyond Entrance Gate

Visitors enjoy the Woodland Garden and the Cares & Woes Fountain

Ringing the Blessing Windchime

Receiving Blessings

Admiring the Rhododendron

Conversation by the Pond

Cares & Woes Fountain

Pouring Out Cares & Woes

Along the Woodland Path

Chimes at Meadow Garden Entrance

Visitors enjoy the Upper Garden and Prayer Shrine.
A prayer is inscribed on paper and hung with others on Raspberry Trellis.

Enjoying the Upper Gardens

Prayer Shrine and Trellis

Hanging Reverent Prayers

Giving the Prayer to the Wind

Sitting in Nearby Peace Shrine

Visitors take part in the Peace Shrine ritual -
Selecting a stone, dipping/cleasing it in water bowl,
and finally setting it on Stupa with silent blessings.
Thousands of stones already rest on Stupa!

Peace Shrine - Selecting Rock

Dipping Rock in Water Bowl

Placing Rock on Stupa with Silent Blessing

Cleansing Rock in Water Bowl

Silently Placing Rock on Stupa with Blessing

Reflecting on Peace Together

After a visit throughout the garden, the Courtyard is a pleasant spot to relax. Privately nestled near the Grotto and the Narana Water Garden, one is soothed by the sound of water and a breeze wafting through surrounding firs.

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