My sons love making comic books and are pretty good at it, so this morning when I started to think of my blog, I decided to consult the most adorable creative collaboration team ever.
Me: “Hey guys, do you know what a blog is?”
Son Two: “Yes, it is like a virtual diary that other people read about your stuff.” (God bless his wonderful school and teacher.)
Me: “What do you think my blog for the Yoga center should be about?”
Son one: “Flowers!”
Son two: “Meditation!”
Ah, the brilliance of the small ones is outstanding (again) because as it turns out flowers do have a lot to teach us about meditation.
What do we do when we decide we want a flower? It looks a little like this:
We gather the supplies
We put a seed in soil
We water the seed and give it what it needs—sunshine or shade
And then we wait because we know that flowers can’t be rushed. They come on their own timeline.
Often when we start meditating, it looks like this:
We sit down.
We close our eyes.
Immediately, all sorts of thoughts rush in.
We get impatient with ourselves, decide meditation “doesn’t work” and quit.
If we look at the flower for even a second, we can see the lessons– how is it that we expect meditation to be different from everything else in nature? We need to set the stage for meditation. Just like soil for plants, meditation requires a clean, quiet area where we won’t be disturbed. Just like planting a seed in soil, meditation requires a process of going into ourselves BEFORE we can start to grow. We don’t judge a flower for needing shade or sunshine or curse its ineptness at not being a “good” flower; we figure out what it needs to grow and we honor that. To find a calm place of mindfulness, do you need to walk? Do you need to lie on your back or sit very erect with 16 pillows? Honoring what you need in life and in meditation is as natural as allowing a shade plant a place outside of the sun—it is not only okay and not selfish to do so, it is necessary if life is to thrive. Mostly, we need to give ourselves the caring patience without expectations that we give a growing plant, and understand that even if we can’t see the progress the flower is making as it grows, it is growing. We don’t become meditators after sitting once, but if we allow ourselves kind care and patience, we too will flower.
Me: “What do you think, kiddos? Pretty good blog?”
Son Two: “I get how flowers are like meditation but you don’t have to make it so long.”
Clearly, we need to work on the caring patience bit–more to watch grow.