Tibetan Peace Garden, London
This is a small public garden in south London which was opened by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, religious leader of Tibetan Buddhists.
War and Peace
It is located in the park in front of the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth. It is on your left side as you walk up the path to the main entrance to the museum.
One aim of the garden is to encourage world peace and promote choice of non-violence. Also, according to its creators, it offers “a place where anyone can come to enjoy a time of peace and tranquillity”. Its Tibetan name means “Garden of Contemplation”.
The garden’s design and decoration uses many Buddhist symbols and there is an information plaque which explains these.
- A tall column presents in four languages the Dalai Lama’s message about the importance of choosing non-violence.
- The garden plan is based on the eight spoke Buddhist Wheel which represents the Noble Eightfold Path. There are eight stone “contemplation seats” in a circle to represent the eight principles in the Noble Eightfold Path. When you sit on one of these seats, you feel you are focusing on the centre of the garden.
- In the centre is a round slab carrying a bronze design of a “mandala”. In Tibetan Buddhism, a “mandala” is a geometric design rather like the ground plan for a holy place with four gates. Every detail of the mandala stands for something in Buddhism. Sometimes Tibetan Buddhist monks learn to memorise designs like this perfectly so that they can see every detail with the mind’s eye. This particular mandala pattern is called the “Wheel of Time” and is associated with world peace and the vision of an enlightened society.
- Around the outside of the garden is a trellis and plants from the Himalayan area.
- This garden consciously represents the elements - but not with water, windchimes and lanterns. Instead, beside each of four entrances to the circle is a modern abstract sculpture showing an element. There is Earth in the east, Air in the west, Fire in the north, and Water in the south.
This garden is often visited and blessed by Tibetan Buddhist teachers when visiting London.
The garden is in a public park: Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, St George's Road, London SE1 6ER
www.tibet-foundation.org/ac/tpg.php - For more information and travel details.
Continue reading: Peace Pagoda And Peace Temple Gardens.