Gardening as meditation
In response to our fast-paced world, there’s a massive get-back-to-nature trend these days. Gardening provides relaxation, inspiration, freedom and a sense of tranquility. It connects you to both your natural environment and yourself. Now it’s time to make the best use of the last weeks of the gardening season by planting flower bulbs!
Did you know that gardening is an exercise in paying attention? A garden encourages you to look, smell, feel, hear and taste - and this affects you more than you might think. You feel connected with your garden - as if it’s part of yourself. By getting your hands in the soil and feet on the ground, you become aware of your true self: no wonder it’s often referred to as ‘grounding’. It helps you ‘stop and smell the roses’ and live a more aware life. Planting flower bulbs helps you listen to your inner self.
Science has shown that people who garden produce the same brainwaves as people in prayer or meditation. And the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the blood also drops when you trade in your phone, tablet and computer games for a hoe or rake. Want to reduce your stress? Put aside those digital devices and get into your garden with flower bulbs.
But how does meditation work? During restful gardening activities, you become aware of metaphors that reflect your own life. This reflection actually clarifies issues you are being confronted with in your everyday life. In the quiet of planting flower bulbs, these insights simply seem to appear out of nowhere. Your attention shifts from your head to your body; you become more aware of the here and now.
By seeing the planting of flower bulbs as a kind of meditation, you become involved in the changeability of life. You become literally involved in what you are planting, caring for and harvesting. So, get the most out of the last bit of the gardening season, and plant them this fall. This repetitive activity opens your mind and gives you a real energy boost. Choose your flower bulbs thoughtfully, plant them judiciously, and care for them just like you care for yourself. You can then await another reward: beautiful flowers in the spring.