A Meditation Garden For Your Lifestyle | gardening

A meditation garden, sometimes called a contemplation garden, is a fairly new concept. Of course gardens and meditation has been around for centuries, but the combination of the two as a specific serene spot you can create yourself is more of a modern concept.This type of garden shouldn’t be confused with a Zen garden that you would find at a temple. Many of the temple gardens in Kyoto for example are meant to be observed from a particular angle. There are also strolling gardens that allow you get a little closer to nature, however these are different concepts than creating your own space at home. A dry rock garden for example is minimalist by design and it encourages the observer to use their imagination when it comes to a portrayed landscape of mountains, rivers, and temples.This is definitely one route to go when designing your own meditation garden, as long as your incorporate a comfortable sitting space as well. Two great feature of a dry rock garden are:1) They are low maintenance. The lack of many flowers etc. allows you to spend less time with upkeep.
2) In an area like Buffalo and Grand Island, where we have pretty severe winters, the garden still maintains a unique form even when covered in snow. Using various size large rocks creates a wonderful effect in winter.The initial start-up costs for the dry rock garden may be higher due to the prices of small boulders, but yearly maintenance and upkeep fees are minimal at best.Others may wish to go a different route and create something that directly touches all of the senses. A good Japanese garden is one that has incorporated something for all four seasons into it. That way the garden is always alive and seen from a different perspective. You want to create a meditation garden that you are comfortable and intrigued in all throughout the seasons.Western gardens also tend to use a lot of plants and flowers so this may look more natural given your housing situation. The Japanese garden is often restricted by boundaries that create a feeling of it being a sacred space. The idea of a sacred space is what we are aiming for when thinking of a meditational garden. Even in a larger more open yard, for example, you can start with something in a corner and think of it as a separate but connected room. When you enter this room you want to be surrounded by things that lend themselves to calmness and serenity.A Sanctuary for the SensesFlowers create a scent memory that can draw you back to the garden from time to time. A bench or area on the grass supplies the sense of touch and gives you the comfort and stability to meditate in the garden. Visually you want something intriguing or mysterious, but not too distracting. Remember, CLARITY is the goal of a meditation garden, not a color smorgasbord to impress the neighbors walking by. A water feature is also a great relaxing stimulus for the ears. Watching a small stream of water can have a great calming effect, but because we have so many memories and images of flowing water, the mere sound of it trickling can also be a refreshing stimulus. The more you can stimulate all of the senses the more connected to nature you are likely to feel.The Sanctuary Gate You want to create a place that you can call your sanctuary. A place you are comfortable and protected in. For me, shaded spots seem to have a more enclosed feeling, and can also be a nice retreat from the direct summer sun.A path or entranceway is also something to consider as a starting point of the meditation garden. The Japanese Roji, or pathways up to the teahouses, are great examples of a space dedicated to calming and preparing you to enter a world different from the one you just left. Sometimes they can be quite narrow at the beginning of the path and I like to think that this was intentionally designed as the place to leave your problems at the door. An actual entranceway such as a Japanese style gate or a pergola with hanging wisteria for example can also be a great way of distinguishing the different areas.This site about Japanese Gardens is recommended for more detailed information and interesting videos with accompanying ambient music. Whether you are aiming for a meditational garden where you can sit quietly or do yoga or tai chi, it should be a place you are comfortable in and you can focus on the nature around you.

Small Business Online Marketing Considerations | Online marketing

For small business online marketing can hugely powerful and profitable. Many small businesses now recognise the importance of having a synergised cohesive online marketing campaign that can do wonders for their bottom line.Most small businesses now have a website and many small businesses are now using Facebook and Twitter to boost their online presence. There are though some rules of the game (social media) which small business, in fact any business, must be aware of before they embark on a comprehensive online marketing assault. The evolution of online marketing has come a long way so lets take a look at the things to consider:1. How much do you know?The first thing to consider what do you know about the internet. For example, do you know what SEO (search engine optimisation) is? Do you know how Google works? Do you know how to find keywords? Do you know the difference between a head keyword and a long tail keyword and which one is better to get ranked highly by Google and the other search engines such as Yahoo? Determining your level of online marketing knowledge will help you determine what type of online marketing strategies you employ.2. Who is your market?The next thing to consider who is your market? Again this will have an effect on what types of strategies to use. For instance are you selling to older people who may not use Facebook, or are you selling to a younger crowd? Are you selling to students and professionals? This will determine when you use Facebook for your small business and Twitter.3. How much time do you have?Online marketing takes time. There are no free lunches and patience is required. It’s a bit like going to a Financial Planner and hoping they will make you rich overnight. It’s not going to happen. Online marketing is a science rather than a magic act although things are becoming more automating and easier to do. For instance Facebook optimisation is easier now that small business can create stunning landing page which link to their websites. Small businesses using Twitter can now schedule bulk tweets. However you must ask yourself how much time can you invest on your internet marketing campaign, because again this will determine what you use and how often you use it.4. Are you already online?Do you already have a website achieving high SEO? Do you already use social media strategies for your small business? Maybe you all need to tweak around the edges. The fact is online marketing needs a consistent approach. It is all about Trust Marketing and building relationships and you can’t do that if your marketing is static. Again, you can now automate a lot of things like email newsletters and so on but trust marketing still requires a personal touch and social media allows this, don’t neglect it!These are the important factors to consider for the online marketing of your small business. The fact is patience does pay off as long as you have the right ingredients and you are continually mixing them up. There are of course quite a few others factors to consider and really powerful strategies that you can employ to get your website up Google and use social media to increase your bottom line.

Benefits of Purchasing Pets Supplies Online | Pets

The population of people owning pets is continuously increasing throughout the years. This is in debt to the great comfort and joy that a pet can give them. And one way to repay them for the companionship and happiness that they bring to their owners is by pampering them. Buying pet clothing and accessories is not a new thing anymore for most pet owners. Pets nowadays are treated like human beings. They are clothed, groomed and given the most delicious treats. This is also the reason why pet retail stores are popping out like mushrooms across the country. Online pet shops are also popular haven for many pet owners in finding the best animal supplies for their dearest pets.Although visiting a brick and mortar pet store can be a lot of fun, buying pets supplies online also has its own benefits. Buying supplies from stores can help you to save time, energy and money. For pet owners who do not have the time to physically visit a pet retail store, browsing on online pet shops will help them to easily find and purchase what they need. It will save them the time of wandering across the city, squeezing themselves in a jam packed pet store and falling in a long line before they get to purchase their pet’s goodies. Online pet shops can give you the comfort that you need while shopping for your pets. This can also save you the money of fueling up your car before driving to a pet retail store. Brick and mortar pet shops also have extra overheads that they add to their merchandise. Purchasing supplies online will save you from these extra charges.Online shops also offer a wider variety of pet supplies. Since, retail pet stores have limited floor spaces, they can only display a limited array of pet goodies. In online pet shops, you can find the most common up to the hardest to find pet supplies. This can be done by just clicking and browsing on their catalogues. You can also do your research online while shopping. For example, if you want to buy a particular brand of cage for your pet iguana, you can research on it online to help you decide if you will purchase it or not. Reading various comments or reviews of online pet owners about a particular item can also help you in your shopping.By buying supplies online, you are also given the opportunity to get online deals, discounts, introductory offers, and coupons. Most shops offer variety of gimmicks which can provide you great shopping discounts. Some shops even offer “zero delivery charges”. All you need to do is to pay up your merchandise online through your credit card and wait for your purchases to be delivered right in front of your own doorstep.Online stores are open to serve you anytime of the day, buying pets supplies online is not just a time and money saver, it can also help you to know more about your pets. Online pet stores also offer support forums for pet lovers to make their shopping experience more fun and rewarding.