08 September 2008

Is Gardening a Zen Experience?

According to Zen Buddhist author Geri Larkin it is.
...an excerpt from Larkin's book, Plant Seed, Pull Weed
Seeds and seedlings grow into forests step by step.
In this growing they have the capacity to support societies where every single person is honored. All you and I need to do is start planting the seeds.
This is a small doing.
One simple act followed by the next simple act, resting when we need to rest, admiring what we need to admire.
Seeds to gardens, gardens to forests, forests to seeds to gardens, in an exquisite dance.

Is any part of gardening Zen-like? I asked myself this question as I went outside this morning. Just asking the question made the experience more ethereal and helped me focus on the present moment.

Attending to the task in front of me instead of doing it while thinking about something else, made the time much more pleasant. So, about 50-daffodil bulbs, 5 asters, 10 Azure Sage were planted, zinnia seeds were collected, ocimum basilicum Purpurascens (purple basil) seeds were planted, and gardens beds were watered, all in a sweet, quiet mode.

Give it a try.

The Larkin quote above is from a blog called, Explore the Spirit.
Here's another quote from Larkin's book at that same blog on 5/15/08.
In our gardens there will be constant weeds.
Okay.
In our heads there will be weeds, as well.
Okay again.
We pull them once, twice, ten thousand times -- because we can.
Because we must.
Get out there and get dirty, my friend.
Nothing matters more.
May you be fearless.
May you make your life breathtakingly beautiful through your acts of generosity and compassion.
May these same acts make the world a cleaner and safer place for the children of our children.
Small acts writ large change history.

"Plant Seed, Pull Weed: Nurturing the Garden of Your Life"
by Jeri Larkin and
"Gardening At the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World"
by Wendy Johnson are the two newest books connecting Buddhism and gardening.
Johnson's book has its own website. Click here

Have you read either of these or another gardening-as-Zen-practice book? What do you think about connecting spirituality with gardening?

2 comments:

Bobbi said...

Great post! I've not read any of these books, but now you have me interest! Thanks!

Martha said...

I hope you'll let me know what you think about the books, Bobbi.

Right now I won't have time to take on the challenge.