Oxherding in The Osmosis Gardens
Michael Stusser, Osmosis Landscape Gardener, and Virginia Matthews, Zen Lay Nun
Original Date: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Download MP3 Audio File Here (11.8 MB)

Osmosis Spa in Freestone offers a tangible manifestation of the ancient Zen Buddhist parable of the Ox and the Ox-herder, in the form of its beautiful meditation garden. The ten "pictures" of the parable, indicating steps on the spiritual journey, have been rendered in stone throughout the garden. Osmosis Spa is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the creation of the garden through the publication of the book The Osmosis Gardens, which is an update of an earlier version telling the story of the inspiration behind the gardens, the rendering of the parable by the master gardener, Robert Ketchell, and a look at the relevance of this teaching story in our own lives. In this event, Michael Stusser, owner and visionary of Osmosis Spa, and Myosho Ginny Matthews will speak of their connection to the garden and the tale that inspired it.

Michael Stusser is a creator of inspirational gardens, helping Alan Chadwick start the first garden on the UC Santa Cruz campus in 1967, continuing on to help establish Camp Joy in Boulder Creek, and the gardens at Farallones Institute (now Occidental Arts and Ecology Center). The desire to weave meditation practice and horticulture led him to a traditional apprenticeship in landscape gardening in Kyoto Japan. The landmark Japanese-style garden at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary is the most current reflection of this path.

Myosho Ginny Matthews is a Rinzai lay ordained nun in the Zen lineage of Joshu Sasaki, Roshi, her teacher since 1973. She is also a professional dancer/teacher and committed to family/community life. She offers Pilates, dance classes and Zen meditation for women at her studio, Downtown Dance/Art Space, as well as every Thursday, morning at the Osmosis Meditation Garden.

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