main aim in creating the garden was to provide a peaceful,
beautiful area which guests and visitors to the centre
could enjoy. So in 1980 he began the process of
transforming two acres of flat field and wilderness into a
Japanese garden. With no previous gardening experience, he
plunged into the task, feeling his way as he went along.
As North Clifton was in a flat area, Maitreya missed the
hilly and mountainous scenery of Japan and so started to
create his own in miniature. The earth dug out by the JCB
in order to create the pond was heaped roughly into
'hills' to be shaped by hand later. The large stones came
mostly from a quarry in Derby and these were spaced out
around the pond area to be positioned meditatively and
harmoniously one by one. The winding paths took their lead
from the positioning of rocks. Then, little by little, the
other features were added from the Japanese repertoire of
traditional garden elements such as water, carp, bridges,
moss, bamboo, evergreens, maples, cherry, stone lanterns,
etc... to be blended with a dash of English plants and
elements too. A case of East and West in radiant harmony!
Many plants were given by friends and villagers, and local
farmers helped with the task of ferrying stones. The small
pagoda was built using scrap materials he found in the
out-buildings, a Zen garden, which consists of rocks and
chipped marble, has been completed and a Japanese Tea
House for tea ceremony use. Now the world's first - we
believe - glittering crystal garden has been completed.
Sunday, May 12th 2013 Maitreya opened the world's first
crystal garden in his Japanese garden. The day was well
attended and he gave a talk before the grand unveiling.
Since Maitreya first had the idea of creating the crystal
garden, it has taken four years of devoted work.
Maitreya says: "The essence of the crystal garden is for
spiritual inspiration, to bring awarenessof the beauty of
Life and the miracle of creation. When we are aware of
Life, which all creation is, we realise the Truth of
ourself. Without appreciation there is no respect of Life
and we are lead by ignorance, greed and fear, which makes
our life frustrating and we feel discontent. "When we have
awareness of Life and its wonder we respect all life, all
beings, and ourself. When we love our self, we love all".
The crystal garden is Maitreya's expression of the beauty
of nature and harmony of creation; mountains, a river,
fields, and an ocean are created by countless crystals,
gems and precious stones. It is symbolic of how beautiful
the universe is.
The garden has
been featured many times on television, magazines and
newspapers, and is also featured in the following books: