Just browse the aisles of any local garden center and you are likely to find plenty of stone statues to accent your garden. Depending on where you shop, these “statues” may range from small ducks and frogs to large gargoyles and lions. As someone who has never been a fan of garden ornaments, I never expected to find a genre of garden sculpture that intrigued me, but that was before I found this unique collection of volcanic stone statuary. It may be difficult to find these spiritually inspired monuments in your typical garden center, but they are available online at Chopa.com.
Zen gardeners are known for creating sacred spaces within outdoor environments, most of which bear little resemblance to a traditional American garden. Instead of colorful flower beds, the Zen garden is more of a “composition” of elements, which might include river rocks, fountains, statues and flora. The statues in a Zen garden are usually Buddhas and the fountains are often made from Tibetan copper bowls, but a new trend is emerging; volcanic stone “deities.”
Here is a sampling of the volcanic stone statues now available at Chopa:
Quan Yin Volcanic Stone Statue: Named after Buddhist deity Quan Yin, meaning the “one who sees and hears the cry from the human world,” this Chinese goddess of Mercy is known for hearing the prayers of the ill and the lost. Made from genuine Balinese volcanic stone, this exquisite Quan-Yin statue will charm and beauty to any outdoor space.
Green Tara Volcanic Stone Statue: Best known for her enlightened compassion, the Green Tara Buddha also represents longevity. Another name for the Tibetan Green Tara is Sgrol-ma, or the “one who saves,” because she was born out of the tears of compassion. In addition to guiding her followers on a spiritual journey to enlightenment, she is an important deity within Tibetan Buddhism. Legend has it that Buddha’s tears formed a lake from which the lotus grew, which opened up to reveal the goddess Tara. Crafted from Balinese volcanic stone and finished in antique green, this detailed statue adds an elegant touch to any room or garden.
Three Wise Monkeys: Unlike the Buddhist deities, this delightful set of statues adds a touch of whimsy to your home or garden. Based on the proverbial Japanese principle of Mizaru, who sees no evil, Kikazaru, who hears no evil, and Iwazaru, who speaks no evil, these volcanic stone statues have a natural finish and beautiful details.