Sand Tray Therapy Class-Zen Garden Student #4, 5/30

by Perry Birbrager
(Sandy Springs, GA, USA)

Sand Tray Therapy, My Zen Garden, 5/30

Sand Tray Therapy, My Zen Garden, 5/30

When creating my Sand Tray Therapy Zen Garden, I wanted to encompass the many things that I feel make me truly a happy person, and as close to really actualizing what truly makes me who I am.

I started with white sand from the beaches of the United States Virgin Islands. I took a trip in 2009 to visit one of my great friends. I would have to say that during the trip is one of the times when I felt most peaceful and carefree, like nothing bad could occur in the world.

My grandfathers dog tags from his Navy days during World War II are the second thing I chose to put into my Zen Garden. Family is extremely important to me, and a steady foundation creates a sense of trust and security that is irreplaceable.

Next, I put a bracelet that I purchased when I visited Israel in 2005. I identify strongly as a member of the Jewish people, which explains the Jewish star as well. I have this sense of connection, pride, and sense of love and admiration for my Jewish background, and these feelings definitely belong in my Zen Garden.

Also in my Sand Tray Therapy Zen Garden is a copy of the travelers prayer written on lambskin. I keep this with me whenever I travel, and my faith in something greater than myself gives me the strength and courage to be adventurous, positive, and very happy with my life.

Finally, I have included something old and something new. The something old is an old shell from a bullet. It was given to me by one of my Israeli soldier friends. As the bullet begins to wear down with time, it is important to realize that things do not last forever, as well as the people who own them. My something new is a wristband that says "I am enough." This is a saying I find very significant, as it allows me to realize that I need to be the person I am meant to be, and it is important to not have to change who I am for anyone just because. I am happy the way I am, and that makes life an amazing journey to travel along.

Upon seeing the complete picture of what my Zen Garden has become, I feel a sense of security, happiness, and tranquility. My box is not a collection of things, but a collection of memories and experiences. Thankfully, I would not trade these experiences for any amount of riches, because "I am enough" and I am perfectly happy with what I have been given and done in life thus far.

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"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

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