Sand Tray Therapy Class: Zen Garden - Jonathan V., Mercer Univ. Student, Summer 2013

by Jonathan
(Lawrenceville, GA)

Sand Tray Therapy Class: Zen Garden J.V.

Sand Tray Therapy Class: Zen Garden J.V.

In casting around for something to make my zen garden out of, I remembered that I had some old film canisters from my undergraduate years when I was a film and television major. I had held onto it thinking it was a neat object and that surely I would someday come up with a use for it. How gratifying that I finally did find a new purpose for the old film canister. Practically, the shape was a good one, and I liked the idea of using something that was meaningful to me and represented an important part of my past. I consider my rake a triumph of creative problem solving, as I made it from a guide from an old beard trimmer and some toothpicks. I tried to show some restraint in designing my sand tray therapy zen garden, as I didn’t want to clutter it with random items. It would offend my sense of order. I started with a shell I had gotten when I took Play Therapy a couple of years ago. I liked the idea of including a seashell and the connection to the previous class appealed to me. The two rocks are more about aesthetics than meaning as I just wanted some structures in the sand to make patterns around. I also felt that I wanted a little bit of life in my garden, so I found a little piece of greenery outside my home and added it to the garden.

I played with my sand tray therapy zen garden a bit after making it, but the day I spent the longest stretch of time with it was after the first day of working summer camp. I was physically and mentally tired when I came to my garden, and I spent a good bit of time moving my rake through the sand making patterns around the structures I had placed in the garden, trying different paths and patterns. I can’t say that it has made me any less exhausted, but it has been calming, almost hypnotic, letting me slow down my brain a bit after a long day of camp and then class afterward, letting me get into a mood where I am in rest mode and ready to recharge for the next day.

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