Skip to main content

How to Build a Waterfall Meditation Pond for Your Backyard Paradise

Paul has been upgrading his home for the past five years. This labor of love has proved to him that learning is a lifelong journey.

Meditation Pond with a Stacked Slate Waterfall - A DIY Project

Meditation Pond with a Stacked Slate Waterfall - A DIY Project

How to Build Your Own Waterfall Meditation Pond

I created my own waterfall meditation pond a few years ago, and I now spend endless hours enjoying the beauty, tranquillity, and meditational zen-like peace it provides to me and my family. Of all the projects I've taken on around my home, there is something special about the waterfall meditation pond.

The great news is you can create one, too. My pond—the one you see in these photos, the one I'll tell you how to build—is actually two ponds, one with a waterfall and the other with a fountain, both connected by a stream. The water noise it makes is music to the ears.

The entire project only takes one day's effort to complete, and the best part is that there is minimal maintenance. It will enhance your yard and give you that place to escape at the end of the day, every day.

What You'll Need

The items required for the waterfall pond can be purchased at most home and garden centers. Total cost ranges from $200 to $500 and up, depending on how large a pond you are building.

Materials required include:

  • rocks of various sizes
  • water pump
  • water filter
  • rubber hoses and clamps
  • a rubber membrane sheet or roll (which acts as a base to hold the water in place)
  • plants

You can purchase a pond kit (as I did) with all these things included, except for the rocks and plants. This greatly simplifies the selection process.

The Stream - Connecting the Ponds

The Stream - Connecting the Ponds

How to Dig a Pond

For this design, you will need to build two ponds, one upstream and one downstream. That's right, there will be two ponds and a stream connecting them.

  1. The first pond must be on a higher elevation—about a foot higher will be sufficient. If you have a naturally sloping yard, then preparation is simpler. If you have a flat yard, you will have to build up a raised area first. Allow for at least 3 to 4 feet between the two ponds for the connecting stream between them.
  2. For each pond, dig out an area 6 feet across. Initially dig down 10 to 12 inches for the entire surface, then dig an inner hole measuring 4 feet across. This inner hole should be perfectly centered within the existing 6-foot pond area. Dig this inner hole down 20 to 24 inches. It will hold the pump in the lower pond, while the upper layer will have a small rock and stone cover. In the upper pond, the extra depth of the inner hole will provide an accentuated tone for the waterfall.
  3. Then dig out a 2-foot wide stream bed connecting the two ponds. The stream bed should be dug down 4 inches and connect the two ponds together.
  4. Once the pond areas have been dug out, you will need to line both ponds and the stream bed completely with the rubber membrane, which comes in rolls or sheets of various sizes and is specifically made for pond applications. The membrane must overlap the pond edges by a foot on all sides. Where necessary, overlap sections of the rubber membrane from top to bottom with at least 6 inches of overlap. Seal the overlap areas with some exterior water resistant caulking.
All Kinds of Rocks - Create That Natural Look

All Kinds of Rocks - Create That Natural Look

How to Choose Rocks to Line Your Pond: Size and Shape Matters

It's all a matter of choice, but certain rocks work better than others depending on where you will be placing them.

For the waterfall, you will need at least three large flat rocks. Slate works well as it has a very rustic look and provides a perfect flat surface for the water to cascade down on. It is also easily stacked to create the waterfall. You will use smaller rocks as separation between the pieces of slate.

You will also need various sizes and shapes of other rocks. Try to use rocks that will also provide a natural look and enhance the edges of the waterfall and pond areas. Stones of various sizes, colors, and shapes provide the perfect finishing touch for the bottom of the pond and are great for filling in between the larger rocks. The main goal here is to create a natural look, so use your imagination and vision.

Waterfall and Upper Pond

Waterfall and Upper Pond

The large slabs of slate make a wonderful waterfall.

The large slabs of slate make a wonderful waterfall.

How to Install the Pump, Filter, Tubing, and Plants

Finally, to complete your waterfall meditation pond, it is time to install the pump, filter, and tubing.

  1. The pump will sit in the middle of the lower pond. It's a good idea to place a flat rock on the bottom of this pond for the pump to rest on. This will allow the pump to sit higher than sediment that will form at the bottom.
  2. Connect the tubing to the outlet valve on the pump and secure with a hose clamp. The rubber tubing should be long enough to reach halfway back up to the top of the upper pond.
  3. Lower the pump into the lower pond's inner hole.
  4. Dig a hole on the side of the stream; either side will do but preferably the side that faces away from the yard. This should be about the midway point where the pump tubing can easily reach. The hole should be big enough to mount the water filter. The filter should rest inside the hole, with only its upper area showing.
  5. Attach the tubing from the pump to the inlet valve on the water filter and secure with a hose clamp, then attach a second rubber tubing to the outlet valve of the water filter. The other end of this tubing will run to the backside of the upper pond waterfall. Secure the tubing from the backside, onto the top large slate rock of the waterfall. Again, use various rocks to secure the tubing. The tubing must face forward so water is directed over the slate stone surface and into the upper pond. Now you just have to add plants as desired to create that natural look.
  6. Fill up the upper pond with water from your garden hose. When the upper pond is full, it will naturally overflow into the stream channel and then into the lower pond. Once the lower pond is also full, you can shut off the water supply.

You have just completed your own waterfall meditation pond. Now comes the exciting part, plug in the pump and the water starts to flow. You won't believe how great you will feel while watching and listening to the water cascading down. It is the most relaxing sound in the world.

The Waterfall Pond flows into the Lower Pond - Where the Pump Does Its Work

The Waterfall Pond flows into the Lower Pond - Where the Pump Does Its Work

Finishing Touches: Add the Rocks and Construct a Waterfall

Once all the pond and stream areas are covered with the rubber membrane, it's time to construct the waterfall.

  1. In the upper pond, first lay down some large rocks on the inner ledge at the top side. These rocks will serve as a foundation for the larger slate rocks to rest on. The Initial rocks should be large enough so the tops of them are just below the top edge of the pond.
  2. Lay down the first large slate rock on top of the foundation rocks. The front edge of the first slate rock should overhang the deeper inner pond slightly. The second large slate rock should sit back two to six inches. Lay down some smaller rocks on top of the first slate rock, then lay down the second large slate rock on these smaller supporting rocks. The size of these smaller supporting rocks is up to you. Decide on the look you want, and go with it. You really can't go wrong.
  3. You may have to build up some back support for the large slate rocks as well. As each layer sits further back than the one below it, you want to make sure they don't tip backwards. Continue building layers, at least three is preferred, but you can go higher.
  4. Once the waterfall is assembled, you can add various rocks to fill in the gaps. For the inside ledges, add smaller rocks two to four inches in width. Also add various rocks and stones to the stream bed. Even a piece of driftwood can help create a natural look. You'll find that where ever you go, you'll always take note of any special rocks and stones you come across. When you add them to your pond, they will add even more meaning for you to enjoy.

Even the Birds Will Love Your Waterfall Meditation Pond

You will absolutely love your yard when you can relax by your own waterfall meditation pond. The natural elements of the rocks and the sound of the water spilling over the rocks and into the pond below completely takes you away from all of your stress. This will be the first place you go every day after work. Just being there is like practicing meditation without all the work. The whole family enjoys the tranquillity and peaceful surroundings of the backyard paradise.

Gold Fish Swimming in the Pond

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on December 22, 2011:

Thanks for commenting Bruzzbuzz, even in Winter the wsterfall pond adds peace and tranquility to the yard. The birds and squirrels love their visits all year round. I think you will definitely do well by having a waterfall meditation pond in your yard.

bruzzbuzz from Texas , USA on December 22, 2011:

Thanks for a great hub. I am going to build a similar one this summer and will come back to this hub before I start.

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on December 06, 2011:

Thanks for commenting Kaylee, there is never enough time to do all the things that need doing and still have time to enjoy them as well. But here's to trying, Cheers!

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on December 05, 2011:

Thanks for commenting Stars439, I'm sure Becky would love her own waterfall meditation pond. It's frozen over now for the winter, but still makes a great spot for the birds and squirrels to gather food around. I can hardly wait for spring so I can start it up once more...

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on December 05, 2011:

Wonderful hub, and a neat idea. I would like to make one for our daughter Becky to enjoy someday. Thank you for sharing this informative hub that has some great suggestions. God Bless You .

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on November 07, 2011:

Thanks oceansnsunsets for commenting, its definitely worth the effort. I can't imagine my yard without it!

Paula from The Midwest, USA on November 07, 2011:

Carcro, thanks for sharing about building a waterfall meditation pond. Just the name sounds amazing! I would love to do this sometime, and I now my family would enjoy it as much as you and yours have. Its peaceful to just look at the photos. :)

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on November 01, 2011:

Thanks Derdriu, once again you are most kind with your comments. The waterfall meditation pond is my favourite of all projects. I get so much enjoyment from being outside and taking in the sites and sounds of the water cascading down the rocks. It breathes life into the yard...

Derdriu on November 01, 2011:

Carcro: Very nice! Thank you for dispelling the mystery which can surround a garden feature such as a meditation pond. Your explanations are precise, and your photos convincingly play their supporting role.

Voted up, etc.,


Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on October 27, 2011:

You are very welcome Ingenira. Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer based on my own experience.

Ingenira on October 27, 2011:

That's very encouraging to know, Carcro. I think I want to start something in my garden soon. :) Thank you !

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on October 27, 2011:

Hi Ingenira, first thank you for commenting on my hubs, I never had any prior experience in any of the projects I have worked on. Any experience I have is only from doing the work around my home. Believe me when I say - if I can do it anyone can. I used to have a blue thumb, the hammer would always hit my thumb instead of the nail, Lol. In fact it still does. But I get a great sense of pride and accomplishment from doing the work and enjoying the rewards. It just takes will and determination. I also find the best thing is to take it one day at a time and one step at a time. Always start with smaller projects and work your way up into more complex projects as you learn. Its also way cheaper than hiring someone to do the work for you...

Ingenira on October 26, 2011:

Your Waterfall Meditation Pond is so cool ! I'd like to have that in my house. Can you really DIY things like these by reading and follow the instruction from a book or your instruction here, or some related experience is necessary ?

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on October 21, 2011:

Thanks prairieprincess, definitely a good idea to have your husband do the heavy work. Thanks for commenting on my hub!

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on October 21, 2011:

Wow, what a wonderful idea! I love to look at this kind of thing but truth be told, I would need a lot help from my husband for something like this. Maybe next summer we could try it out ... lovely hub!

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on October 12, 2011:

Thanks for commenting tonymead60, Actually not my pool, was a vacation pic, I wish it was my pool...

Tony Mead from Yorkshire on October 12, 2011:

HI carcro

a really interesting hub as I'm planning something similar myself for next year. Some useful tips here.

I hope you find the peace you are searching for by your pool.


Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on October 11, 2011:

You guessed it Movie Master, this is where I spend so much of my time when I get home from work, my great escape from it all. Its only a day to make and it sooo worth it...

Movie Master from United Kingdom on October 11, 2011:

Hello carco, so this is where you sit and enjoy your garden!

This would be a great project for next year!

Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea, best wishes MM

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on September 29, 2011:

Thanks Danette, you're right about the sound of water. I built this pond a few years back, and it has been my favorite place from spring to fall. I can't tell you how much the waterwall pond helps me relax at the end of the day! Thanks for the vote!

Danette Watt from Illinois on September 28, 2011:

What a great meditation pond! Wish I had space for something like this where I live. It's beautiful and the sound of water can be very soothing. Voted up and awesome.

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on September 13, 2011:

Thanks suzettenaples for commenting and the vote up! You're so right, the waterfalls are extremely relaxing, and add so much to the backyard. The rocks can be heavy, so its a smart thing to get assistance when you need it.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on September 13, 2011:

This is a wonderful hub. Your directions are very good and this looks fairly easy to build. My sister has done this, althought she designed hers and then hired someone to build it. These waterfalls are such a relaxing thing to add to the backyard or patio. Voted up!

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on September 11, 2011:

Thanks suziecat! Really appreciate the nice comments. I know what you mean though, spring is always the time I start thinking of what else can I do around the house! I think you would absolutely love having your own waterfall meditation pond...

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on September 11, 2011:

Love this - maybe next spring I may find the time to do this. Thanks for the excellent Hub and the follow. Rated up and useful!

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on August 30, 2011:

I'm sure it has worked for some, I found mine long before, but for those who are still looking, why not? At worst they would be very relaxed, and that's a good thing! Thanks for commenting!

Trsmd from India on August 30, 2011:

Is it true that Waterfall Meditation for finding true love..?

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on August 19, 2011:

Thanks for reading and the comments, it really is a great way to relax at the end of the day.

Justsilvie on August 19, 2011:

This is beautiful. A project I really would love to undertake. Really nice Hub!

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on August 18, 2011:

Happyboomernurse - thanks for your wonderful comments! You're so right, the animals love it, we spend endless hours just watching the little critters from the patio, enjoying the beautiful sounds of nature.

Lyn - We will drop peanuts in the shell behind the pond, and its great to watch the squirrels as they hide all the nuts first, and then come back later to dig them up and eat them. Great idea for lighting. I actually have some over head lighting but really like the idea of adding a few solar lights. Thanks so much for commenting!

Lyn.Stewart from Auckland, New Zealand on August 18, 2011:

Love the sound of the squirrels ... we don't have them in New Zealand.

A couple of statues holding solar lights would look good if you wanted to add some lights that don't ruin the theme.

Love how natural looking you have gotten your pond.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on August 18, 2011:

Wow! This waterfall meditation pond is really beautiful and you have provided concise instructions on how to build one. I have a small waterfall on my deck and do find it relaxing and conducive to meditation. It also attracts birds who love to drink from it.

Thanks for posting this information. Am voting it up, useful, beautiful, awesome and interesting.

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on August 06, 2011:

Glad to share the info, like I said, this is my favorite spot to enjoy everyday. I have stocked the lower pond with gold fish now, and the birds are visiting and the squirrels are playing. It's quite the sight, and sound. I know you will love it when you have your own waterfall meditation pond! Thanks for commenting...

Chris Merritt from Pendleton, Indiana on August 06, 2011:

Thanks carcro, THIS is excellent, and on my to do list, probably next spring. I think this is something that I can do and enjoy doing it.

Thanks again, up, interesting and useful

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on August 05, 2011:

Wow, Sedona Arisona sounds like a great place in sun! My waterfall pond is the best part of my day. It takes away all the stress of the day, spend endless hours by the pond. Even stalked it with gold fish! Thanks for commenting...

maestra2011 on August 05, 2011:

Carcro these ponds look very wonderful. Moving to Sedona Arizona vortex center of the world. These ponds would be a great addition to the back yard.

Paul Cronin (author) from Winnipeg on July 22, 2011:

You have a good point, any water feature will provide you with an escape from stress. I really notice the difference in the yard when I switch off the water pump, the water stops flowing and its like I'm in the desert. Thanks for your comment!

Amber Allen on July 22, 2011:

I would probably get a little stressed trying to build this myself but I have a simple water feature in my garden which I find extremely soothing so I think it is a great idea if you have the room.