Gardening as a Mindfulness Practice

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Gardening as a Mindfulness Practice

There’s something special about caring for a plant. Whether you have a sprawling vegetable garden or a succulent on your desk it can be really fun and exciting to watch them grown a new leaf, get a bit taller or sprout flowers. You are already aware of the nutritional benefits of gardening your own food, have you considered the positive effects gardening can have on your consciousness. We often think that to meditate we must be still and in complete quiet. We’ve had other things evolve such as guided meditation and even moving meditation like taking a long walk in nature. The goal of meditation whichever way you chose to practice is to let go of worries in the past and anxieties about the future, to essentially become present. When we are involved in an activity such as gardening we are very much able to let go of our thoughts and just focus in the moment on what we are doing. The following list of tips are designed to help you create your own gardening mindfulness practice.

1. Set Aside Time
Even in a small enclosed garden, you can find tranquility in the sounds of nature, smell of the fresh earth and the warmth of the sun. Just being in your garden can bring about a sense of calm. The first big step is to set aside time each day even if it’s just ten minutes to get your hands in the dirt. The idea is to purposefully use this time in your garden for meditation, try simple techniques such as praying, singing or repeating a mantra. While these all have positive effects on you they also have the added benefits for your plants.

2. Get Grounded
When you first get into the garden, take a few moments and actively engage with all of your senses. Start by identifying three things you see, then close your eyes and identify three things you hear, and touch and smell. If you are working in an eatable garden and its harvest time make sure to taste some of your hard work too. This simple activity will help ground yourself in the garden space and sets the tone for your practice.

3. Incorporate Color and Aromatherapy
An appealing garden should be one full of color and aroma. You can enhance your gardening experience by intentionally manipulating the scenery. When planning your garden, consider including aromatic flowers or herbs for olfactory pleasure. Select plants so that as the sun bakes and the wind breezes, you can find yourself bathing in pleasant aromas. Plotting your garden with color in mind is also a great way to invigorate your mind.

4. Nature’s Music
Enhance the peacefulness of your gardening experience with some wind chimes, or take time to sit and use a singing bowl to tune yourself and your plants periodically.

5. Mindful Eating
One of the best parts of gardening will be harvest time! While you harvest your fresh fruits, vegetables and even flowers remember to give back gratitude. This simple though toward your garden and yourself will benefit your body and mind cultivating a loving, nourishing awareness from within.

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