Zen gardens, known in Japanese as 枯山水 karesansui, create miniature landscapes out of strategically placed rocks, carefully pruned bushes, and gravel which is raked into patterns imitating flowing water. They are designed as an aid to meditation about the true meaning of existence.

Famous karesansui rock gardens such as Ryōan-ji in Kyoto draw tourists from around the world to admire them, appreciate the wabi-sabi aesthetic, to meditate, and perhaps find inner peace.

Finding peace certainly seems to have been on the mind of this cat at the Kuhonbutsu Jōshinji Jōdo Buddhist temple 九品仏浄真寺 in the Setagaya Ward of Tokyo.

Captured through the lens of Twitter user, doujin illustrator, and cat-lover kmt (@syu9ji2), this freewheeling feline has discovered that the meticulously raked ripples in the Zen garden make for the perfect spot to catch a nice catnap. In a viral Tweet which has already attracted 137,000 likes and 39,000 retweets at the time of writing, kmt's photos reveal a cat completely "at one" with the Zen garden:

Reproduced with permission from kmt (@syu9ji2)

Reproduced with permission from kmt (@syu9ji2)

"A cat which has turned into a part of a Zen garden"

But rest assured, this cat hadn't been assimilated by the karesansui, destined to become another rock in the garden, forever frozen in time. Kmt found the little fella outside of the garden and wide awake on her way home:

"On my way home, the cat was looking sharp"

Ah, the privileges of being a cat. As you can imagine, the only humans ever allowed to step inside are those who tend to the garden and create the beautiful patterns in the gravel with their rakes. And even they aren't allowed to sleep there...

If you'd like to visit the garden, it's located within the grounds of Kuhonbutsu Jōshinji Jōdo Buddhist temple 九品仏浄真寺 at 東京都世田谷区奥沢7丁目41-3 (7-41-3 Okusawa Setagaya-ku Tokyo), a 3-minute walk from Kuhonbutsu Station on the Tokyu Oimachi Line:

And if you'd like to see more photos of cats and illustrations from kmt, you can follow her on Twitter and check out the links in her profile.

By - Ben K.