Here in New Jersey, gratitude and peace are just a sign as Spring time is starting to roll in! We had a few days of teasing with the nice warmer weather, but I know it will be coming! If you mediate (or if you want to start), consider going outside when the weather get better; your spring garden can be a delightful addition to your meditation practice. It can be very simple to design a special space that will appeal to all your senses without requiring much time consuming maintenance.
In full disclosure, I have to let you know that I don’t have one… yet! I will be creating this for me in the next coming weekends! As I plan it out, I thought I would share my thoughts with everyone. These are some ways to create a garden that can increase your gratitude and improve your peace of mind come rain or shine.
Designing a Spring Meditation Garden:
1. Select lush plants. An abundance of green plants helps to create a relaxing atmosphere. Any variety of mint or other herbs will add a pleasing scent; I am a fan of lavender!. If you live in a warm climate, you can enjoy the rustle of bamboo or look for an ornamental grass that’s suited to your region. Be careful, though – Bamboo can quickly take over and spread. When we looked into planting bamboo, we were told to use an in-ground concrete barrier (we passed on planting this!)
2. Incorporate objects of meditation. Depending on your faith tradition, you may want to include a statue or another meaningful image. A simple arrangement of rocks or weathered wood can add extra gratitude appeal. Many people also find it helpful to rake gravel or sand. Many specialty stores sell these readymade “Zen Gardens.”
3. Install solar birdbaths or fountains. The sound of running water can stimulate your mind while it masks background noises. With solar devices, you can enjoy the effect and be good to the environment. You’ll also delight in the song and company of the birds you attract.
4. Arrange for comfortable seating. If you prefer to sit on the ground, you may just want to keep a spot clear so you can bring a cushion or mat outdoors with you. If you use a chair, ensure it promotes good posture so you can keep your back straight and your feet on the ground.
5. Build a path. Even in a small garden, a path can enhance your sense of space and exploration. You can contemplate a trail of stones or diversify your practice with some walking meditation.
Check back tomorrow for more ideas for expressing gratitude in your garden sanctuary!
The Gratitude Guru