"My greatest “aha” moment was when I realized that the Japanese garden, and more specifically the tea ceremony within that garden, was an expression of human dignity and mutual respect between the people called to participate in the ritual. The garden exists as an idealized universe that sets the tone for the participants and is an essential piece in supporting each guest in this experience. Having seen the possibilities of respectful interaction within the ceremony, one cannot help but be inspired to recreate that environment." –Lynn Wolfstone

Lynn, a Portland landscape designer, was describing her experience as one of 31 landscape professionals to participate in last year’s two Waza to Kokoro: Hands and Heartprofessional seminars in Japanese garden arts.

Another seminar participant, Jake Davies-Robertson of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew, England, described it as “brilliant. I met some amazing people and learnt a lot, and I believe it will go on to leave a lasting impact on what I do in the future. I will be recommending it to anyone who may be interested.”  

Gary Joyner of Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre in Cowra, Australia, called it “the best learning seminar I have ever attended. I feel very privileged and extremely grateful for all those involved for delivering such an exceptional learning experience at an amazing location with welcoming and very knowledgeable people. Something very special is happening at the Portland Japanese Garden.”
If you’d like to experience the Waza to Kokoro seminar for yourself, application is now open for the 2019 seminars! Dates to know:

Beginner level, June 3-9 (deadline for application Feb. 15)
Intermediate level, Sept 16-27 (deadline for application April 15)
With visiting instructors from Japan as well as Garden staff, the courses offer an unparalleled intensive educational experience in Japanese garden arts, all framed in the culture of tea. Japanese garden professionals, landscape architects and designers, horticulturalists, stonemasons, landscape construction contractors, and other professionals from five countries have completed the course since its beginnings in 2016. 

Apply Now!