Springtime at Home: Simple water meditations in the garden

I miss spending time in the forest during this coronavirus lockdown. Finding ways of replicating the sense of peace and wellbeing that the woodlands give me, really helps ease the longing to be back there.

Just after a light April shower is the perfect time for mindfulness in the garden. There is such calmness in water. I wait for the rain to stop falling and for that moment when the clouds part and the droplets amongst the leaves and branches suddenly illuminate with sunshine.

I watch through my camera lens as a miniature globe slowly edges to the very end of a petal. It takes every ounce of concentration. I feel my breathing slow – I am so close that a brisk exhale would cause all of these droplets to cascade.

The slightest breeze, now rustling through the garden, makes the raindrops precarious, reminding me that all things are precious and transient.

Inside each bubble of water are refracted images of the surrounding stems. Another gentle breeze and they all run down to the soil to nourish the plant.

When the unfurling leaves of the rhubarb are filled with rainfall, I am reminded of our hikes in wild Scotland, and the river valleys that flow through the purple, heather-topped mountains.

I encourage my children to find their own stillness in the garden.

For my toddler, this might be a flower on a stem, where I know she will be fascinated by the petals. For my young autistic sons, I might give them a ribbon to run with. Meditation does not always need to be motionless.

I ask my eldest sons to find a spot next to the stream and sit comfortably, and then we chime a brass singing bowl. I ask them to pinpoint the moment when the echoing ring of the bowl fades into the sound of the running water. It takes all of their concentration.

I tell them that if a thought pops into their head, then this is okay. Acknowledge it, and then imagine that it drifts away along the stream like fallen leaves.

I notice a profound difference in their self-belief, confidence and concentration, when we turn back to our schoolbooks, if they start the day with calmed minds.

I hope that wherever you are, you are able to find a little window of peace in your day.

Keep safe and well everyone. With heartfelt thanks to all those who are working to keep us safe, especially those on the frontline in the NHS and hospitals around the world.

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46 Comments

      1. Thank you, we’re all well, I hope you too. Your garden is indeed extreemely handy these lockdown days. My little roof terrace is not big enough to wander around!

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      2. Thank you, we’re all well, I hope uyou too. Your garden is indeed extreemely handy these lockdown days. My little roof terrace is not big enough to wander around!

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    1. Thanks very much 🙂 I think photography has really changed how I look at the world – and has somewhere along the line gotten mixed in with my Buddhist practise 🙂 Hope you are keeping safe and well x

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    1. Thank you Derrick – I’ve been mulling over how to write about our meditation for a while, as it’s a big part of our lives as Buddhists, but it seemed to be quite tricky to convey the sense of silence in words – thanks very much for the feedback, I really appreciate it 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much Cathy – I’ve been tentative about writing about our mediation for a while, and finding the right way of writing about it – and it’s received some lovely comments – I really appreciate it, thank you x

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a wonderful way for the children to start their day. You’ve got a lovely garden design for the children to enjoy. A stream must be a particularly lovely sound as it runs over the pebbles. I can hear it in my mind and imagine its faint trickle.

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  2. You have a beautiful garden from what I see in these photos and other posts of your blog I have quickly glanced at. I can see and feel just how relaxing your garden is. I would enjoy sitting in stillness there.

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  3. The post itself was paced so that it reads like a meditation. Thank you for sharing not only your experience but the various meditations that your family find peaceful. So glad I checked in today, I will walk my garden with a very different perspective after the next rainfall.

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    1. Thank you very much. You have made my day because I spent quite a while pondering how to put across meditation into word, and this is just what I was aiming for x I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.

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  4. I love forests too, at this time during lock down we aren’t allowed to go out walking at all. I really miss not being able to go outside. So do my dogs. They don’t understand, obviously, but we humans can put our minds to mindfulness and meditation. It is the only thing to do right now 😊💕

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    1. Oh no Morag, that must be very difficult. We get to go out once a day for an hour – and luckily, if we keep a brisk pace (!), we can make it too the woodlands or take long routes around the countryside. I can’t imagine keeping our five children indoors 24/7. I hope you are able to get out with your dogs again soon x

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  5. Oh such a delight to be catching up with you again Mrs TP… and what a beautiful post to return back to.. Right up my street…. nothing like starting the day with a meditation and your little stream just the place to sit and listen and relax… You are teaching your children the best practices to enrich and calm their well being in life…
    Wonderful read.. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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