Meditation At Work

Meditation At Work

January 19 2022

My understanding of meditation is that one must sit and concentrate on one’s breathing or with chanting for heightened spiritual awareness and peace and calm. (Simplified probably) I have no doubt it is a wonderful practice, but I truly believe you can achieve the same result by working-yes working!-in the garden.

A garden is an extension of the gardener’s mind. Odds are, someone who likes order will have an orderly garden, tidy roses and neatly trimmed borders, and some gardeners want a profusion of color and greenery and maybe they don’t like being confined by rules. Did I just tip my hand there? At any rate, if you create a garden, chances are it will be a reflection of you and what you love. If you’ve listened to your heart, you will find peace, your mind will be calm. Yes, I know the endless chores can be overwhelming sometimes and one can feel defeated, but the joy and pleasure reign. I’m a firm believer that that joy and pleasure come from doing the work yourself. The dividends are big, bigger than the flowers and vegetables.

Occasionally, I’ll be down on my knees weeding, mindlessly aware of the birds chirping, my damp knees, the hum of bees and all is calm. My mind stills, and there you have it, meditation at work.

The summer garden is teeming with life and we should soak up every mixture and every nuance because it’s all so fleeting in the scheme of things. Everything on earth will crumble to the ground as the song ‘Dust In The Wind’ says. I don’t find this sad, but freeing; my only job is to live well, and voraciously! And yes, HA!, there is a plant that speaks of such hunger for life-lupine.

Lupines were seen growing on poor soils so it was assumed they took up all the nutrients, as voracious as wolves, thus lupine from the Latin ‘lupus’ meaning wolf. We all know the fairy tales casting wolves as hungry thieving beings. Today, one flower meaning for lupines is voraciousness. Actually, lupines are legumes-members of the pea family and put nitrogen into the soil, mostly for their own use, I’ve been told (all legumes), but it explains why they can grow in poor soils.

Even in the winter when I can’t be out in the gardens, I can get lost in the world of plants, learning how they came to us, the stories they carry with them, and dreaming of summer’s riches. And maybe losing oneself is the point.

Lupine, Lupinus ‘Gallery Red’