Articles‎ > ‎Interviews‎ > ‎

Biography of Buddha Maitreya

posted 7 May 2015, 06:57 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 13 May 2015, 09:17 ]

Maitreya (Koji Takeuchi) was born and brought up in Handa, Japan, near Nagoya. During the difficult teens he began a desperate search for truth which first led him to Christianity. But the church's approach could not give him the direct experience of Jesus that he was looking for and so he turned to meditation with the hope of personal contact with the truth. And so it was that he found himself on a week's meditation course for lay people at a monastery one summer where he had the experience 'Enlightenment' through his total sacrifice and dedication that was to firmly lay down the foundations for his life as a meditation teacher. In the moment of 'Enlightenment', he saw the absolute perfection and beauty intrinsic in all things and all beings, the essence of Life. The clarity and joy of that experience and its profundity gave rise to the strong wish to share this with everyone by helping them to experience it too by means of simple meditation.

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 But he felt the monastic life was too harsh, rigid and out of date.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.

Buddha Maitreya has received numerous awards in creating the stunning garden:

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 -