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Scholar Stones:  Zen Gardens In Miniature

Written by Domenic Leo, Ph.D.


I am cold. My hands are cold. I am losing concentration but must finish writing this scroll. I have no view of my collection of large garden stones. Here I can find no peace. But I do have a meditation device: my Scholar Stone, an invaluable gift from my students. I lift my weary eyes and let my mind wander into the swirls, colors and shapes of this small stone. I see cherry blossoms, landscapes and bamboo bending with the wind. I slowly break my gaze and can, with a fresh mind return to my task at hand.


Also known as Gongshi (Spirit or Painting) stones, these stunning objects have been appreciated at the Chinese court for over 1,000 years as "portable" zen gardens. No human hand is responsible for their decorations, rather they are the product of Mother Earth. They come from a remote region of South China. Those with red (good luck) and strong resemblances to nature are among the most highly valued. Today the same is true. Creative Medicine has sold a number of large and small stones. Their prices run from "palm-sized" rocks at $60.00, to rare twin circular stones with beaten frames of metal and wood at $1,600.00. We have also greedily kept a number of them for ourselves, which are on display in the store, on our desks and gracefully representing the element of Earth on our altars.  As one of my favorite stones we will continue to receive more, both imposing and intimate, both abstract and realistic. Feel free to come to the store and experience them yourselves. Despite the price, we invite visitors to touch and directly contact their individual energy fields for healing and meditation. Should you like to buy a certain type of Scholar Stone we will be happy to advise you on how to make your own table-top zen garden.



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