Zen Writing

Went to VanDusen Botanical Gardens for brunch with one of my favourite people, and had a writing session with her in what is sometimes referred to as the Zen Garden (it’s more commonly called the Meditation Garden).


My beautiful grandmother. She’s eating a vegetarian panini on the gluten free bread she brought herself.


Look at those sticky fingers! I had brioche french toast with strawberry rhubarb compote and maple syrup. Oh, and turkey sausages. Delish!

After our brunch, we headed over the the garden entrance.


Cool wooden lighting fixture in the tiny art gallery just outside the ticket desk, across from Truffles Fine Foods.

VanDusen Botanical Gardens is a wonderful place, especially on a gorgeous day like today. I’ve always felt that it’s reflective of Vancouver–too big to be small, but almost humble in its simplicity. And, of course, beautiful in a way that touches your heart like you thought only home could. It’s a great place to take a stroll, especially with young children. (Note: there is an entrance fee.)

My grandmother and I have been a thousand times on sunny days before, and the gardens have been lovely each and every time. But today we didn’t spend too much time looking at the foliage; our mission was of a different nature, so we took a direct path to the Meditation Garden–a place my grandmother describes as a “quiet, sacred spot”.


The entrance to the Meditation Garden. The carved Chinese characters read “Ease at the Heart”.


Inside the garden.

Once seated, we began to write. We stayed there for a few hours, once pausing to read our work to each other. My grandmother is one of the only people I like sharing rough pieces with, probably because of the reflective elements that surface in both our writing when we’re together. I also don’t mind because I know I could write complete crap and she would still find something nice to say about it, as long as I had put some thought into it. She is a grandma, after all.


My grandmother chose to focus most of her writing on her first memories of her mother, and the beginnings of what would eventually define their relationship.


A day’s well spent.

At around three we packed up, agreeing to write together again. For those of you who love writing, I suggest you find someone to write with as well. Whether it’s in a garden, a quiet coffee shop, or an empty classroom, writing in silence with someone else is a great way to get work done. It’s focused, productive, and, of course, fun!

All the best,



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