The Meditation Garden
The Meditation Garden
Often when I leave my desk to go take care of my garden, I intend to do something more than gardening. After all, most gardening tasks do not require 100% of my concentration.
After gaining practical, gardening tasks such as weeding, planting new plants, picking fruit and vegetables become thought processes rather than brain tasks. Without thinking much you begin to distinguish a weed from a precious plant in the first step of its life.
And so, as I am adept at multi-task while I am busy with my garden I am meditating and reflecting my everyday problems. I am using the gardening tasks as something that allows me to concentrate on more complicated problems than pick vegetables for dinner.
Over time I realized that this time I spend just thinking, without deciding, without worry, without creating or planning, is one of the best things about gardening. Let the left part of my brain to function on autopilot is what makes gardening a task so relaxing.
Today we see advertisements for Zen retreats and people who wake at dawn to practice yoga. This makes me wonder if what they derive from looking at walls for hours and twist in all fancy positions is the same as my retreat from gardening.
I'm too impatient to meditate and not very athletic for yoga positions. But my garden is always available. Without spiritual rules, without philosophical ducts. The plants in my garden are always there, ready to greet me with a good day.
My garden loves my impatience, love that I can not sit still. In fact my garden does not survive if I'm quiet. And in return for my tasks, it gives me happiness, or at least gives me the possibility to switch off from the rest of the world and feel what many meditation masters can only have after many years of immobility and introspective.
In my garden I do not do heavy work, be it physical or mental. Do not solve problems or answer questions. Simply take care of my plants while I get that feeling that I restore vegetation.
Gardening is a meditative exercise that leaves me in harmony and at the end of the day, I can still eat the peas and tomatoes that I grow in my garden.