“It's a little sandbox for stupid people.”
A Zen Garden is a pile of stuff (garbage and sand) that you push around with some manner of prod. Watching a Zen Master garden is like watching your dad rake leaves, but you know he's never going to finish because he's been avoiding your mom ever since he cheated on her with that woman at the bar who was prettier than your mom ever was. You were an accident. And adopted.
Zen Gardens were introduced as a pastime by Tibetan monks, who needed a super-powerful time waster because they didn't do jack in between Mortal Kombats.
For years, the monks would push rocks around with sticks until they achieved enlightenment through undreamt-of amounts of boredom and then they'd die.
Early Buddhism was developed as a way to escape what the monks called "prahna-tzikrit yllamatana" or the dreams of pushing rocks and sand around that came after days of pushing rocks and sand around, which was called "Cobain".
During the industrial revolution, the fat greedy capitalist factory owners would wager child laborers on a horrific and blasphemous game of beach dodgeball, or to be more accurate, sand-covered-factory-floor dodgerock.
Recently, the most development in the cultivation of Zen Gardens has come from the United States, who, thanks to its unemployment and spiritual bankruptcy has more people who lack any kind of holistic oneness than any other country and must gain a feeling of connection to the Earth by pushing bits of it around with a rake.
edit How to make a Zen Garden
Many kinds of Zen Gardens exist, and it would be worthless to go into the differences between them. To make a Zen Garden, you take some stuff or shit and pile it up. You then gather some other, different, preferably contrasting shit or stuff and place it among the previous stuff or shit. You then gather some manner of prod. Voila! You are now a Zen Gardener. Now, proceed to move the shit and stuff around until you die or you finish it. If you figure out what "finishing it" means, rescue those who are still inside.
For a Zen Garden that is useful, pile up some wood and use an axe as the prod. At least it'll keep you warm AND bored.
Don't forget, once you have the garden built, to tell long stories about how you were "arranging the Zen Garden" while you're at Starbucks or on skiing trips with your cashmere-sweater-with-a-scarf asshole friends you insufferable prick.
edit Best uses ever
- Little slum beach filled with Homies figurines
Zen Gardens are worthless piles of worthless that are almost as worthless as the worthless people who own, operate, create, care for, or enjoy them. So very. But they have a rich history. That thing about the berbers still cracks me up.