Japanese zen gardens are abstractions of scenes found in nature rather than replicas of actual natural places. They were originally dry landscapes created in temple courtyards to facilitate meditation. Rather than stimulating the senses, the goal is to promote stillness. Buddhist monks believed they could achieve mental emptiness and inner peace more readily in a minimalist garden that only contained simple forms.
While meditation can involve sitting, standing, or walking, maintaining a zen garden by raking gravel, pruning plants, and weeding is also a form of meditation.