Kokoro and the Gardener: 
Health for Spirit, Body, and Community

Japanese Garden Regional Conference
in Rockford, Illinois

Thursday, August 4th- Monday, August 8th, 2022
(with multiple registration options- full schedule below)

While we are not able to provide shuttle transportation to and from Anderson Japanese Gardens, we will make every effort to organize carpools among participants. When you register, you will be asked if you would like to carpool. 

PART I: Kokoro and the Gardner- Health for Spirit, Body and Community

Thursday, August 4 

Optional Preconference Tour (details TBD, but this tour will be informal- transportation will not be provided- but you will be able to sign up for tours at 2-3 locations at specific times in the afternoon. Visits will likely include Rosecrance, Laurent House, and possibly the Schoening garden). 

Opening Lecture (at Anderson Japanese Gardens)
7:00 pm: Lecture by Kendall Brown “Inside Out:  Architecture in Gardens / Gardens in Architecture.”

Friday, August 5

*Breakfast on your own (Note: Fresco at the Garden opens at 8 am with great garden views)

9:00 – 9:15 am Visitor Center Gallery: Welcome & Introduction to Conference 

9:15 – 9:45 “What is Kokoro?” Lecture, Kimiko Gunji  (Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois)

10:00 – 10:30 Tea ceremony led by Prof. Gunji

10:45 – 11:30 Tai Chi for Gardeners, with Sensei Craig Westland

  • “Maintaining the Maintainer”
    Since ancient times Tai Chi has been used as a natural medicine to keep the body fit and flexible. You will be learning a traditional Tai Chi set/routine that you will be able to practice for many years to come. We will cover exercises to help the strengthening of sinews, muscles and joints, all with an emphasis on correct posture. We will cover some Qigong (breath work) and some minor stretching.

11:45 – 12:30 pm “Tea Ceremony and the Garden” Lecture, Tim Gruner

12:30 – 1:30 Bento Box lunch, with Japanese food culture discussion by Prof. Gunji

1:45 – 3:15 “Garden Tour: Conversing with the Gardeners- Understanding the forms and functions of a “kokoro garden.”

3:30 – 4:00 Garden: Panel discussion on the techniques and effects of the Garden 

4:15 – 5:15  Kokoro Reflection with Prof. Gunji (Participants will draw a calligraphic Zen circle enso on shikishi)

5:15 – 8:00 * Dinner (on your own in nearby downtown or suburban Rockford) Garden will be open for private viewing to “let the notes of the day resonate.”

Saturday, August 6

*Breakfast on your own (Note: Fresco at the Garden opens at 8 am with great garden views)

9:00 – 9:30 am “Kokoro II” lecture, Prof. Gunji
Finding Kokoro in gardens and chado (The Way of Tea)

9:45 – 10:15 Tea ceremony led by Prof. Gunji

10:30 – 11:15 Tai Chi for Gardeners, with Sensei Craig Westland  

11:30 – 12:15 pm “Staying on the Path: Strategies for Guiding Guests in Garden Etiquette” with John Powell
How garden staff can help guide people who mistreat the garden

12:30 – 1:30 Bento Box lunch with Food Culture talk II by Prof. Gunji

1:45 – 2:30 Lecture by Randy Zimmerman, “A Path to Renewal.”

2:30 – 3:00 Refreshment & Garden Stroll 

3:00 – 4:00 Kokoro Reflection II with Prof. Gunji (participants will write kokoro calligraphy on shikishi)

4:15 – 5:00 Reflection on kokoro by Prof. Gunji & Tim Gruner

5:15-6:00 View participant art pieces in gallery

6:00 – 8:00 Cocktail Hour 

PART II: Garden Erosion Control Workshop 

Sunday August 7
Erosion Control Techniques

9am: Presentation by Dan Salsinger 
-Water ways
-Pond edges
-Horizontal wicking
-Pond design
-Velocity control measures
-Boulders, etc
-Images of various treatments

10am: Presentation about AJG approaches to stream erosion

10:45 Tour AJG to review various projects along stream

12 noon: Lunch at AJG

1pm: Observe erosion problems and control approaches at Gaillini Gardens (Wingate residence)

5pm: Dinner

Monday August 8 Application

9am-4pm: Hands-on project at Gaillini Gardens