Gardening as Meditation

On Friday my girlfriends took me to Bristol Lido as an early birthday pressie.  It was a fabulous day spent swimming, lounging, sauna-ing, steaming, and catching up.  As the hours passed and we worked through all the general chat of relationships, kids, growing older, we finally reached the vast and enlightening subject of the things that make our souls sing.  Two of my companions are yoga teachers and meditators.  They both shared in detail about their meditation practice, as I listened at first I felt a bit jealous, that I don’t have the discipline to meditate.  I felt that maybe I was missing something, not following such a grounding and empowering practice myself.   But, as the conversation continued I realised that I do meditate, regularly, but instead of sitting in lotus position with my eyes closed, my meditation begins when my fingers come into contact with the earth.

Plunging my unclothed fingers into the warm damp soil is like plugging directly into the source.  As I plant, weed, nurture, and encourage my planty friends it is like my whole body responds with a huge out breath.  The tension I hold in different parts of my body relaxes, I breathe more deeply.  The tension in my mind responds too.  I may begin with thoughts and scenarios chasing around in my head but just moments in I can feel them flowing from me, my troubles seemingly absorbed directly into the Earth.  I lose time.  I can spend hours on just a tiny patch of ground absorbed into the intricacies of the miniature universe at my finger tips.

This year, with all the excess weather, I have spent less time in my personal prayer pose; kneeling, bent slightly forward with fingers dressed only with crumbly soil.  This weekend, with the break in the weather, I had the opportunity to spend many hours quite literally grounding; fingers plugged in, worries flowing out.  Gardening is my meditation, my personal Earth therapy.  It reminds me of who I am, and my place in the grand scheme of things.  It relaxes me and softens my worry lines, bringing a smile back to my face.  Bliss…

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