There is more than one way to meditate. You don’t have to sit completely still, propped up on a special pillow, and with your eyes closed to get the benefits of regular meditation. In fact, gardening can serve as a form of moving meditation for those who choose to enjoy that benefit.
If you want to let your gardening be more than a simple task you manage, here are some tips to help you enjoy gardening as a meditative art.
Tune In To Your Senses
Part of meditation is being present in the now. That means you aim to quiet your mind and shut out any distractions while giving your complete attention to this exact moment. Gardening provides a unique opportunity to increase your awareness by tuning into each of your senses as you do your work.
When you dig your hands into the dirt, take a moment to acknowledge how it truly feels. Examine the texture and temperature, and consider how damp of dry the soil is. Then, move to the smell. Let the aroma penetrate deeply while you consider its intricacies. Examine it with your eyes and listen to it as you move it in your hands.
After you have fully appreciated the experience, move on to the next and follow the same path. Truly experience your gardening activities for all it has to offer, and let yourself get caught up in the moment.
Release Your Stresses
While it is easy to say you need to avoid becoming distracted, it is actually quite challenging in practice. As you begin your gardening meditation, don’t berate yourself if your mind wanders to your daily worries. Instead, acknowledge the thought, and then set it free.
To help make the process easier, imagine your thought as a small, tangible object. Then, place the thought carefully on the top of a leaf and imagine a stream carrying it away.
The point isn’t to ignore the other aspects of your life, but simply to allow yourself to focus on this exact moment for the time being. Worrying is often unproductive, so give yourself permission to escape its grasp while you focus on the task at hand.
Enjoy the Space
Even if there isn’t any gardening to do, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a meditation session in the space. Find a comfortable place to sit, and simply allow yourself to experience the space. Again, acknowledge sights, smells, and feelings. If there is sunlight on your shoulders, consider its warmth and how comforting it may feel. If you hear a bird in the distance, take a moment to concentrate on the song. Continue to release any intruding thoughts as mentioned earlier in the article, and then simply refocus on the present.
Over time, the process of meditating will become easier. You will find fewer thoughts entering into your mind, and you can more easily focus on what is happening around you in your immediate present. In fact, you may look forward to this time to yourself. Many people find the experience freeing and rejuvenating. Some end their sessions feeling more energized while others maintain a sense of peace or calm.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to meditate, as long as the practice works for you. If you want more information about meditation, visit http://msia.org.au/ and dig a little deeper into what it means to practice meditation.