A mini Zen garden's intent is to create a place where you can meditate and gather your thoughts. The average size of a mini Zen garden is 12 inches by 6 inches, and it contains sand (which represents water), small stones (which represent wood, fire, metal or earth) and a small rake to create the appearance of water in the sand. When developing your own mini Zen garden, it is important to decorate it in a way that works best for you and your flow of energy, or chi.
The Sand and Rocks
For a classic mini Zen garden, the basic elements are the sand and rocks. You need sand made of crushed granite that is white or gray. For rocks, choose shiny, sculpted rocks that have a smooth appearance and flow. Having the classic elements to a mini Zen garden will be much more calming than just throwing together some beach sand and craggy stones you find in your yard.
Zen Garden Rake
A mini Zen garden must have a mini rake to create the appearance of water in the sand. Make a small rake with toothpicks: Hold five toothpicks together, then wrap a rubber band around the top and spread out the bottom edges until it resembles a rake. When you use this, make soft swirls in the sand to soothe and calm you.
Position the rocks to resemble plots of land in the "water" (sand). View it from different positions and arrange on the sides (if you prefer more space for the rake) or create a zig-zag course for the water to flow down through. The layout of the rocks should be simple. There should be no more than five rocks, and even then you may feel it is crowded.