With a classical Chinese garden history of 5000 years, Meditation Garden has collected rare stones worldwide and old, rare architectures in Ming and Qing Dynasties. Walking in Meditation Garden, is like walking through a cultural corridor, like ascending to the top layer of an art palace, like entering a place where one expects to go day and night and like being at the entrance to a place of meditation. There are no other concerns than meditation.
Meditation Garden has collected a stone which Emperor Qianlong called “No. One Stone” and other rare stones and preserved old, rare architectural complexes built in Ming and Qing Dynasties such as Hall of Heavenly Kings of Shanghai Town God Temple (purlin of Shanghai Xiaodaohui Association) and Jiepu Fengyuan Guild Hall of Guangdong. It is like nature itself and has a style of its own. One can appreciate stones to inspire thinking and appreciate ancient architectures to cultivate and express emotions. With cultures and touchable histories everywhere, one can cultivate his minds as if in a land of idyllic beauty.
The construction of Meditation Garden was taken for ten years. It has perfectly integrated the classic philosophy of “learning from nature and paying attention to harmony between the heaven and human” with modern garden building techniques so that one can cultivate his temperament as if aloof from worldly affairs. The horticulture is delicate and reveals workmanship in tiny points. It has inherited the peak gardening art of Ming and Qing Dynasties and incorporated modern aesthetics and techniques. So it is harmonious, gorgeous. majestic, modest and elegant. It combines emotion with scenery and visible elements with invisible elements. Human civilization originated from nature. A garden is an artificial nature, or second nature as Engels called. Meditation Garden is a “second nature” with classicism and modernism combined perfectly and has embodied culture and art to extremes. To visit Meditation Garden is to enter a world of meditation. It is a place filled with ancient and modern cultures and arts inspired by nature.
Meditation Garden of Wujiang was an intimation of Humble Administrator Garden and became a landscape after ten years of construction. Someone says, “A mountain without stones is not strange, a river without stones is not lipid, a garden without stones is not graceful and a room without stones is not elegant.” Meditation Garden is a place where stones can tell you histories.
In Meditation Garden, you can see rare stones collected from other places such as Lingbi stones from Anhui, woodstone from Xinjiang, Youlan stone from Guangxi, Yingde stone from Guangdong and Taihu stones from Jiangsu. More than 90% of the more than 3000 rare stones are Lingbi stones. “Lingbi stones are famous for its grotesqueness. It sounds like copper and feels like jade”. Among various stones, Lingbi stones, which are on the top of “four famous stones”, are Mr. Chen Jingen’s favorite. Produced from Panshi Mountains, Lingbi County, Anhui Province and perfect in sound, shape, texture and color, Lingbi stones were called “No. One Stone in the World” by Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty.
In Meditation Garden stands a gigantic Lingbi stone called “Qingyun Peak”, 9.1 meters in height, 2.95 meters in width, 2.24 meters in thickness, 136 tons in weight and with more than 1600 holes in its body. It was brought to light in 2001 and set a Guinness World Record for its size. According to historical materials, this stone was discovered as early as in the reign of Emperor Huizong of Song Dynasty. Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty had attempted to excavate and convey it to Yu Garden but eventually failed due to restrictions in exploitation capacity and transportation conditions. Chen Jingen went to Lingbi County, Anhui Province for eight times. Through investigations in person and cooperation with local stone workers for three years, he finally rediscovered this “precious stone” which had been sealed for one thousand years. During these three years, labor costs alone had exceeded 400 thousand yuan. In order to express appreciation for the support and assistance offered by the local people in excavation, Chen Jingen showed more than 20 films for them.
“Qingyun Peak” was discovered in a gorge called “Langwozhang”. The mountain is high but with no paths. The river is deep but with no bridges. In order to carry this gigantic stone of 136 tons from thousands miles away to Meditation Garden, Chen Jingen constructed a road of five kilometers and built two bridges locally. Then it was shipped by a super-long platform lorry of 25 meters produced by the Soviet Union for conveying guided missiles and a hoister for constructing Yangpu Bridge of Shanghai. The traffic is heavy and complicated in the daytime so it had to be transported at night. Through tremendous hardships for 55 days and nights, they finally carried this “precious stone” to Meditation Garden safe and sound. Hence, Qingyun Peak has become the most precious treasure of the garden.