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.
These are some ways to create a garden that can improve your peace of mind come rain or shine:
Designing a Spring Meditation Garden
- 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. 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. We live in the desert and Neal recently planted pampas grass in a half barrel. It is thriving and beautiful.
- 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 appeal. Many people also find it helpful to rake gravel or sand. Many specialty stores sell these readymade “Zen Gardens.”
- 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.
- 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. Sitting on the ground, or resting your bare feet on the ground, is an important healing method called “grounding”.
- 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.
Spending Sunny Days in Your Spring Meditation Garden
- Clear away distractions. Put aside internal and external distractions when it’s time to meditate. Depending on where you live, it may be helpful to meditate early in the morning when there’s less traffic, and other background noise, and less heat.
- Make distractions part of your practice. If external distractions persist, welcome them into your practice. Use the sounds of car horns and people talking to train your mind to stay focused on your meditation object instead of pursuing other thoughts. Note the interruption and bring your mind back to your contemplations.
- Ward away bugs. There are many ways to steer clear of insects without killing them. For wasps, keep a look out so you can stay away from their nests. Avoid the things that attract them like perfume, bright colors, and food. For natural ant repellent, try planting some mint or cucumber.
- Protect yourself from excessive sun exposure. You get just as much sun, outside, whether you’re exercising or sitting down. Use a sunscreen with full spectrum protection and wear a hat, especially if you meditate at midday when the sun is strongest. Make sure your sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It isn’t enough to protect yourself from sunburn (UVB rays). You must also protect your skin from aging, wrinkling, and cancer-causing UVA rays.
Enjoying Your Spring Meditation Garden on Rainy Days
- Develop some sheltered seating. Spring showers are a natural part of the season. By building a gazebo, you can stay outdoors and enjoy the sound of the rain without getting wet. If you’re working with more limited space, install a large umbrella over your chair. It will help protect you from the sun as well as the rain.
- Design a room with a view. When stormy days keep you inside, you can still keep your garden in sight. Meditate by a window where you get a good view of your yard.
Your spring garden can make your meditation practice more pleasant and productive. No matter what the weather brings, use the natural beauty of the outdoors to help calm your mind.
Neal and our Siamese, Merlin, like to meditate in the early morning while they do “Cat Yoga” under the grapefruit tree. The birds serenade them in the early morning quiet, the tree smells wonderful. They can put their bare feet on the grass for some grounding, they get indirect sunlight and the yard is beautiful with lush plants, trees, flowers, and fruit.