The Benefits of Garden Meditation, The teaching of non-territoriality as a peaceful way to live.
By Dorit Kedar, The Center of Inter-religious Peace
- On the characteristics of the expectative mind.
One of the most significant benefits of garden meditation may be the practice of familiarizing with The Unknown as we usually deal with our own known issues.
Garden meditation may help the mind overcome habitual thinking and feeling by getting rid of expectations, as these are the main cause of all worries and fantasies, within a given culture, faith, ethnic group, social and political status…
By definition, expectations are subjective.
The expectative mind wishes to impose its static and fix ideas, dreams or fantasies on the ever changing Reality. This surrealist state of things is a trap leading to the well known seesaw stirring incessantly between accomplishment and failure, between ease and unease, between the metaphorical heaven and hell…
Hypnotized by its own subjective goals, the expectative mind tends to adapt false theories of achievement and success by presumably awakening the force of will, focus on the intentions and the enhancement of self confidence.
Imprisoned by subjective expectations, the world is interpreted according to mental screens installed by personal idiosyncrasy, failing to perceive the actual dynamic here and now.
The more expectations one has, the bigger the gap emerges between the mind and the ever changing reality.
With the increase of habitual expectations and the gap formed between the self and reality, the mind turns to escapism, anger, depression and violence.
All these negative outbursts have one characteristic in common – irrelevance as none of them actually contributes anything to oneself or to the surroundings.
- On the characteristics of the empty mind.
The empty mind conceives everything as an infinite study and research ground, providing insights, which lead to additional insights, always enriched by the new and ever changing context.
The empty mind takes in consideration the subjective aspects of the personality; however these aspects are not separated from the Becoming. Instead, they form an integral part of the Big Change or Reality.
Subjective idiosyncrasy therefore melts into the spiral of change. Plans, thoughts, feelings are interlinked with the dynamic here and now, alert to what in point of fact is happening, switching plans and thoughts accordingly.
The empty mind cultivates alertness, flexibility, intuition, initiative and creativity – all necessary so as to be part of the infinite spiral of Change.
In a strange way, these characteristics endow stability, endurance and inner strength, as the empty mind is learning to get familiarized with the Unknown and Unexpected.
The empty mind learns to dwell in the Unknown by fostering the spirit of adventure and openness to revelations, tuning into the ungraspable cycle of life and death and the fluctuations of ebb and flow.
- Practicing brain frequencies of the empty mind – garden meditation
Sit in a chosen place in a garden or park.
Look around notice and fully observe the plants, flowers, rhythm, landscape characteristics and light
With the eyes closed, try to further visualize the scene.
Expectations, frustrations, worries and old fixations will pop into your visualization.
Do not struggle and gently shift them away.
Continue with the visualization.
Repeat the activity thrice.
Meditation is wonderful while gardening as activity becomes an inherent part of meditation and vice versa
An ancient Egyptian love song (quoted from Bennett, j & Crowley V, Magic & Mysteries of Ancient Egypt, New York, and 2001 renders the influence of the plants in a direct and naïve manner:
There are saamu flowers in it,
Before which we are glorified.
I am your foremost sister,
I am yours as is the acre of land,
that I made to flourish with flowers
and all manners of sweet-scented herbs.
Pleasant is the channel in it,
Which you dug with your own hands
For our refreshment in the north winds,
A beautiful place for walking hand in hand.
When we are together,
My body is satisfied and my heart rejoicing.
Hearing your voice is pomegranate wine –
When I hear it I am alive. Whenever I see you,
It is better than food and drink.