The Place Where Potential Sprouts

the-heart-is-like-a-garden

I set aside 3 hours of my week to take care of me. It’s not a lot of time, but it is what I have promised myself to protect. In a quiet room with teachers, students, moms and dads, business owners and leaders, bankers, techies, various types of administrators, musicians, a scientist, librarian, chef and an artist, the lights are dimmed and we allow silence to embrace the room as we share and hour and a half of yoga and meditation twice a week.

There is a yoga pose called the “Child’s Pose”. Sitting back on your knees, you bend forward, like a seed, placing your head on the floor or stacked fists and you breathe. This is a comfort position. A rest position. A safe position. A healing position.

Our teacher said, “Child’s pose. The place of silence. Where potential sprouts.”

True Silence is the rest of the Mind,
and is to the Spirit,
what Sleep is to the Body,
Nourishment and Refreshment.

~William Penn

I mulled that over for awhile. If you’ve followed me for any time you know I have this thing for silence. For stillness.

With all the noise of fear, hate, uncertainty, greed, oppression, repression, divisiveness…….finding silence is difficult.

“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in an clearer light,
and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.
Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”

~Mahatma Gandhi

How do we find a clearer light by which to see the path that leads to Truth? The path may be similar, or very different, from others in our lives. Without the “attitude of silence” we have no way to rest the mind and spirit. No way to nourish and refresh both. No way to see the crystal clearness of Truth.

If we can invite and allow silence into our life, we may in fact allow that seed of potential to sprout and grow. Watered and fed with silence and stillness.

We have to protect Truth, Wisdom.

“Silence is a fence around wisdom.”
~German proverb

“Silence is wisdom’s sentinel.”
~James Lendall Basford

Our potential is a seed. Waiting to been tended and nurtured. Waiting for the light and warmth, for the soft rains and fertile soils.

 We have the choice over some seeds we plant. Some seeds are given to us. Our thoughts, our actions, our attitude, our contemplative silence, as in the Child’s Pose, gives life to those seeds. In the attitude of internal silence we may find a clearly lit path leading us towards our personal, and hopefully, collective potential.

Your heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. With silence as your guide what will you plant? What kind of potential will sprout from your heart?

Gardening

The heart is like a garden:
it can grow compassion or fear,
resentment or love.
What seeds will you plant there?
~Jack Kornfield

flower1a

It’s spring! More days of sun and warmth. Birds returning and filling the air with song. Tiny buds of color peeping through the slowly melting snow. Our hearts soar and we sigh a sigh of welcome and embrace a sense of rebirth after the cold and darkness of the winter months.

Some of us look forward to the piles of seed and nursery catalogs that begin to fill our mail boxes. Like young children in the days of department store catalogs looking longingly at the hundreds of pages of toys Santa might bring, we ponder growing zones, light requirements, water needs and more.

There are times in our lives when we may pause and think about how we are growing. Maybe even what we are growing.

If you were to go through a seed catalog of personal growth or transformation, or even conviction and purpose, what kind of seeds would you choose to plant and nurture? What sort of color and beauty would you bring into your life? Would you choose things that germinate quickly or would you be more patient? Are you looking for things that grow in full sunlight with ample watering, or plants that grow happily in shade and require less water? How much care will you provide?

Perhaps you are looking for seeds to produce food….or maybe just ornamental flowers. Annuals or perennials? Is it important that your plants and garden attract and support wildlife?

What about resistance? Resistance to insects, deer, disease, mildew, drought, heat? Things we might regard as nuisances.

Open your seed catalog and browse. What will you choose to grow?

There is a section for Personal growth:  Pink Patience (slow germination time), Tender Forgiveness, Joyful Laughter (quick sprouter), Purple Peace of Mind.

In the Reaching Out section there are seed packets for Endless Kindness, Hardy Uplifting, Tall Flowering Tolerance, Arching Acceptance, Continual Compassion (needs fertilizer) and Lavender Love (continuous blooming).

Under the category of Resilience we find Fragrant Flexibility, both the climbing and ground cover varieties, and Sunny Confidence in all shades of yellow and orange.

There may be too many choices in the Spirituality section, so go slowly, read the descriptions and plan accordingly. Favorites include: Prayerful Pansy, in all colors,  Divine Daisy, Passion Poppy, Reflective Fern, Believers Berries (good for some wildlife), Mindful Meadow Rue, Bee Balm Wisdom, Pious Iris, Sacred Cosmos, Hopeful Heliotrope (easy wilter, keep watered).

flower2a

There is another section on invasive and tenacious plants. Included are seed packets for Frozen Fear (spreads almost uncontrollably, so be careful where you plant it), in shades of purple.  Resentment Rose has as many colors as thorns. Angry Aubergine, makes a bitter parmesan. Hateful Horseradish is not for the full-hearted. These require certain types of soil and fertilizer to maintain healthy growth. Read labels carefully. Once these get a footing, they may be hard to thin or remove.

Really, the choices are endless. What do you pick? Perennials or annuals? Kindness and Love? Both? Flowers or bushes? Mindfulness or Passion? Flexibility and Acceptance? Drought resistant? Fear and Anger? Sunny or shady? Laughter or Patience?

If a friend or stranger were to come into your heart garden, what would they see? When you pick a bouquet for your home, what will it look like? When you create a nosegay for a friend, what it is the message it sends?

If you are a beginner and get frustrated with the results, no worries. It takes time to get the right mix for your garden. Remember:

“You’re frustrated because you keep waiting
for the blooming of flowers of which
you have yet to sow the seeds.”
~ Steve Maraboli

What seeds will you plant in your heart?

 

**both photographs by me