Maitreya, for the purpose of becoming a meditation master, went on to university to complete an MA degree in Buddhist Theology and lived the life of a Zen monk for a time. But he felt the monastic life was too harsh, rigid and out of date. Maitreya left Japan to spend a year in Thailand, then went travelling in India and Nepal where he began teaching meditation for a few years.
Through the invitation of a friend he came to England. He stayed in various centres and universities around the country, Reading University, Cambridge University and Lancaster University, etc., teaching and lecturing. It was whilst staying in Teversal in Nottingham he came across a property for sale in North Clifton which became a base from which to teach meditation. Pure Land was born in 1973.
Maitreya's main aim in creating the garden was to provide a peaceful, beautiful area which guests and visitors to the centre could enjoy. So in 1980 he began the process of transforming two acres of flat field and wilderness into a Japanese garden. With no previous gardening experience, he plunged into the task, feeling his way as he went along. As North Clifton was in a flat area, Maitreya missed the hilly and mountainous scenery of Japan and so started to create his own in miniature. The earth dug out by the JCB in order to create the pond was heaped roughly into 'hills' to be shaped by hand later. The large stones came mostly from a quarry in Derby and these were spaced out around the pond area to be positioned meditatively and harmoniously one by one. The winding paths took their lead from the positioning of rocks. Then, little by little, the other features were added from the Japanese repertoire of traditional garden elements such as water, carp, bridges, moss, bamboo, evergreens, maples, cherry, stone lanterns, etc... to be blended with a dash of English plants and elements too. A case of East and West in radiant harmony! Many plants were given by friends and villagers, and local farmers helped with the task of ferrying stones. The small pagoda was built using scrap materials he found in the out-buildings, a Zen garden, which consists of rocks and chipped marble, has been completed and a Japanese Tea House for tea ceremony use. Now the world's first - we believe - crystal garden is near completion.
BA Award for Horticulture - 2008
Businessman of the Year - 2008
Healthy Living Award - 2009
Lifetime Achievement Award - 2009
The garden has been featured many times on television, magazines and newspapers, and is also featured in the following books:
The Inspirational Garden (AA Books)
The Good Gardens Guide (Readers Digest)
The Most Amazing Gardens to Visit in Britain (Readers Digest)
Website - www.buddhamaitreya.co.uk/index.html