Meditation glade

Peaceful locations for contemplation on various Sophic League planets

Image from Steve Bowers
Meditation Glade on New Madray with a 10 metre wooden statue representing the Awakened Heart.

Meditation glades are highly designed landscapes, gardens, and ecosystems that traditionally help sophonts in the Sophic League to achieve various degrees of meditation and mental stabilization. Whether due to the quiet and restful nature of such structures or the simple ascetic beauty, meditation glades are often able to please even sophonts of widely differing body types. Though similar in style to the other types of meditation gardens throughout terragen history, sophic meditation glades tend to possess more interactive elements, or some level of self awareness of their own. This tradition has lead glade designers to design more complex meditation glades as the entrances to Transcension mazes.

Within the glade, visitors may find varieties of plants, water features, platforms, and benches upon which a sophont may rest and contemplate the scenery. 

Virtually every structure and lifeform within a meditation glade is designed to assist in the achievement or maintenance of some form of meditative or consciousness-altering state. From the wood grain or stonework of the benches and platforms, to the bark of the trees, to the location, growth patterns and hallucinogenic properties of the plants and flowers- everything within a meditation glade offers a new and different path to some form of meditation or mental introspection. In the larger or more complex glades, the arrangement of the interior may form a "path of paths" with the use or mastery of a particular aspect of the glades interior leading the user onward to seeing how that aspect is but a component of a larger pattern, which in turns leads the user on to larger patterns still. 

Arrayed around the perimeter of the glade are a number of so-called "focus shrines" designed to assist a sophont in either relaxing or focusing their concentration to achieve the desired mental state. Shrines may consist of small statues, transapient avatars, water features and fountains, complex fractal constructs, or combinations of all of these things and more. In some glades each shrine is a standalone structure, to be appreciated on its own merits. In others all of the shrines together form a larger "path of paths" structure or journey for the visitor to follow. In yet other cases shrines may point the visitor back toward the glade as the paths to meditation that it provides.

Meditation glades are understandably popular among those Sophics whose belief systems place particular emphasis on the value of meditation or solitary contemplation. However, even belief groups whose tenets do not explicitly call for such activities will often make use of a convenient or favored glade to carry out their own spiritual discussions or explorations. Meditation glades designed for nearbaseline humans range in size from 10 to 30 meters in diameter and usually consist of a ring of tree or shrub-like growths enclosing a clearing. Other clades have made their glades with appropriate features such as larger dimensions or a greater variety of smells for the aromatically sensitive.

Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Initially published on 30 December 2006.