There are many spiritual centres throughout Second Life offering a range of environments and opportunities for rest, spiritual comfort, recovery, teaching and more.
One such region is Qoheleth (Hebrew: gatherer / assembler; an assembly). I’ve been drawn there a couple of times over the course of the last year – although admittedly not out of any spiritual want or needs – because the region is largely given over an oriental theme, something of which I’m rather fond. In particular, it includes A Chinese Garden, designed by Camryn Darkstone with the assistance of region holder Grath (Grath Helgerud), as it is this garden which has tended to attract me.
Surrounded by tall walls, through which circular gateways provide access to the rest of the region, A Chinese Garden offers visitors a place to wander under sky and along open-sided passages, look out over quiet waters, and generally relax and enjoy themselves away from the demands of the rest of Second Life. It is, in a word, a peaceful setting.
What makes it particularly attractive is not only that it works well under a range of windlight settings, but the outside of three notable building and things like handrails, almost all the structures within the garden have been designed and built by Camryn, thus harking back to the days when so much in SL was very much DIY, rather than prefabricated.
In an age where so much creative expression in Second Life has perhaps shifted towards being more about landscaping and object placement (which can be as creative and rewarding as gluing prims together, make no mistake), it is good to visit places like the Chinese Garden and be reminded of just what can be done with the humble prim and a little time.
The Sino-Japanese theme continues beyond the immediate walls of the garden, as does the broadly spiritual theme of the region, operated by the Psychoanalytic Round Table discussion group – about which I know little beyond that provided in an information note card. However, just outside of the immediate Garden grounds is a Chinese theatre, again designed by Camryn, and woodland tracks leading over bridges and under trees to other locations of interest, such as the Nanyangong Citadel, and the Stone Circle, where one can learn about Ubuunto – “what it takes to be human”. There’s even a companion house sitting among the trees beyond the garden walls for those seeking company – although I have no idea how active it might be.
For those seeking spiritual rest or renewal, Qoheleth sits amidst three over regions with community / faith / spiritual leanings. These I have not explored, but leave it to those who might to do so. As someone who does enjoy oriental themed locations in SL (and I have a couple more lined-up for upcoming posts!), A Chinese Garden makes for a charming and relaxing visit.
- A Chinese Garden (Rated: Moderate)