Within each of us is an inner garden. We create this garden, this kingdom of heaven or Pure land within our being by the thoughts we focus on, the actions we choose to do, and the things we dwell on a regular basis. Anything you take into yourself becomes a part of this garden. In our relationships with others we also create a shared garden with them.
We all carry within us a wide variety of seeds to grow here. We have within us seeds that were given to us by our parents, our friends, our spiritual beliefs and by society itself. Some seeds are very beautiful and can help us to grow the most wonderful and beautiful gardens. Here we can find refuge and peace, from our daily struggles and stress. These are seeds of love, peace, joy, forgiveness, kindness and compassion. The fruits and flowers grown from these seeds fill our garden with beautiful colors, scents and flavors far beyond any Krispy Kreme or buttery croissant you can imagine!
Unfortunately, not all the seeds we are given grow such wonderful verdant fruits and flowers to envelop our senses. We also are given seeds of anger, hatred, sadness, violence, fear and prejudice to name a few. These foul and thorny weeds can cause all sorts of problems in our inner garden, and in the gardens we share with others. These weeds are dark and gloomy, and covered with thorns! They often emit a fetid stench like raw sewage as well! They can choke out our beautiful roses and flowers, and ruin our fruit trees. These ravaging plants can really mess up your garden a great deal!
What can you do then, since you have both kinds of seeds within you at all times? How can you ensure the ones you want in your garden, are the ones that grow there? It is a very simple matter, although not always an easy one to carry out. The seeds you water within your being with your attention, your thoughts and energy, they will grow. It is the same in your relationships with others. The seeds we water in our interactions with others will also grow. If you keep a good supply of happy seeds within you, when anger or fear and sadness come into your garden, trying to creep past your watchful attention; we can mindfully embrace the angry seeds when they appear, and feed them love, kindness and compassion. Mindfulness is like an inner mother, to help you lovingly embrace and soothe the “crying baby seeds” of angry fearful thoughts and negative energies in order to transform them with love, into beautiful happy seeds again.
The question to ask ourselves each day is:
- Which seeds am I watering in myself today?
- Which seeds am I watering when I speak to others, or by my actions towards them?
- Do I have anger, or hatred or prejudice within me that needs transforming today?
In summary, we all have every kind of seed imaginable within us. To create the perfect garden filled with peace and tranquility, we need to water all the seeds with loving-kindness and compassion, and then our garden will be a place of great beauty, peace and rest. This will give you an awesome place you can go in times of need, to be refreshed and nourished to carry on in your daily life. Through meditation and contemplation you can visit your garden whenever you wish.
When we stop and carefully consider what seeds we want to water, and how our words and actions water these seeds; we can consciously choose to water the seeds we want to grow. When we choose the seeds we want, and water them with our mindful energy, we can create a garden of great beauty for ourselves; and for the others we share gardens with. We can also feed the angry plants that may creep in unawares with loving-kindness and compassion to transform them into beautiful plants again.
May your garden be a place of true beauty and rest for you.