July 10, 2014

Garden Practices



Dancing between order and chaos, fragility and substance, small truths to larger truths emerge.

Gardens cultivate listening. Making time to wander the garden, observing its needs and desires, reinforces the practice of receiving instruction before taking action.  We learn to not rip out the wrong plant, or carelessly dead head a bud before its bloom. Our ears expand with the vibrations of the dove’s coo, screes of the Hawk, and wind caressing leaves.  We begin to hear the words that others might have said but held back.

Weeding grows good ego.  Plucking out dastardly weeds gives a wonderful sense of control~who dies/who lives? For at least one moment of the day, you are in charge. It’s simple, uncomplicated and it may never end, but it’s gratifying results are instant.  And bending to the soil connects root energy to the earth. We may be in charge, but we bend before Ma Nature.

Killing quickly instills kindness.  There are times we must kill.  Let us learn to do it with high intention. Is it in a style we would wish~ Quick?

Expanding what is – enhances creativity.  Unless you are starting from a barren plot, leaning to expand garden vistas by moving, dividing, and seeding from the old supports pragmatism and creativity. Moving a plant to a new location where it shows itself off in a different point of view can be enlightening. You come to understand that being up-rooted and moving can give life a different chance, a new and surprising opportunity to be seen and appreciated.

Balancing generosity with stinginess gives best results.  The garden provides a classroom forlearning ones predilections.  If too generous, we over fertilize and kill with the idea that ‘more is more.’  If penurious, we have no blooms. If we never cut back allowing abundance to over come, we shrink plants consumed in over growth.

Sometimes retreat is the only way out.  When hooked on rose thorns or brambles, the only way to un-hook is to back out. This is good to remember when someone snags you in anger.  If you fight, you may become bloody and entangled. Retreat is then the perfect response.

Being anal obliterates opportunity.  Cleaning up too fast removes chances of new seed germinating from old.  This not only takes away from spring surprise-blooms,  but consumes time better spent in wandering.

Learning to die with grace.  Like all life, plants are aware when dangerous bugs land on them, when they are being cut, and or admired and touched.  It is not human awareness, rather rose, lily, or clematis-awareness; consciousness non the less. Humans know that animals are more aware and intelligent than previously imagined.  Now we open to plant reactions.  We might learn that having a shortened life is not such a bad thing if honored, and seen at the end.  Gardens contain endless cycles that make death and life immediate, ongoing events.  Living with that, like practicing Savasana, grows roots to face our own death with greater equanimity.

NB    For those who love gardens, be they a few potted plants or a wandering smorgasbord of flowers, you may wish to read a previous Breath from July 30, 2008.  “Grown by My Garden.”  It’s another summer celebration containing delightful reminders of what’s important in growing things, any-thing. dailybreathjournal.com   go to ritual and celebration, archives, older posts, Grown by my Garden.


Many of you know Becky, but did you know she’s written a marvelous book you can now pre-order on Amazon.  If interested, I encourage you to do so as the preordering helps her with Amazon listing.  Support a fellow Yogini!   Becky Thompson Ph.D., RYT-500    Survivors on the Yoga Mat

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