Pruning your landscape
Pruning your landscape.
I am sure you have all at some point in your lives tended a garden, or a flower bed or a bunch of bushes on your property, or at the very least cared for a flower. When part of the shrubbery or the flower or a tree dies, we feel a sense of sorrow.Yet healthier maintenance of the botanical life may have avoided their end result. Caring for these plants is not easy and takes great patience, love and compassion. It instills a primal nature within us of caring, which can be applied to our lives as well. Take for example a bonsai tree plant. Years of dedicated trimming, pruning, adjusting branches, careful watering and sunlight exposure all eventually reveal a beautiful miniature tree, with elegant branches and strong leaves. Not an easy undertaking, trust me I have tried. The process of maintenance is rather a spiritual journey for the plant and for you in turn. It survives as you are in the moment, aware, alert and focussed on your task of care, and you in turn are rewarded by being in the moment and being aware of your task at hand, and so appropriately trim the correct foliage, and preserve the delicate balance needed for survival.
Apply this little bonsai tree to your life. It knows the elements needed for survival namely sunlight, water, soil nutrition and the nurturing hand of the gardener, you. Now imagine this tree is you. The universe happily will provide in abundance all the elements that you need to “survive”. I would argue that everything you need is already present for you in the here and now. What you need to” live” is in your hand. Pruning away the dead or dying foliage is key. If you do not do this simple practice on a regular basis you will end up in overgrown weeds, top heavy branches, and general ill health of your plant ergo your spirit. Trimming back the dying leaves and branches are symbolic for you to trim away your prejudices, your unforgiven encounters, your jealously, your myopic judgments and your unresolved fears. Giving way to the tree leaves to “breathe” is essential as your spirit in kind breathes freer air of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, and endurance.
As a gardner trims back the branches and shapes the shrubbery, you too must shape your mental and spiritual landscape. Shape your life into one of decency, character, beauty, respect and integrity. You can do this with the same insight that a gardener has as he or she envisions what they would like their garden to look like. So too you can modify your ego and portray what you wish your garden or spiritual Self chooses to reveal. Using your life’s experiences to bring about the necessary pruning to your mind is a helpful tool as you know what you can and cannot trim. Do not be afraid of getting on your knees and getting your hands dirtier as you get to the bottom of the dead roots and yank them out. The deeper you go in meditation, the deeper you will find old fears, troubles, worries that have prevented you from growing outward and upward. Continuously be mindful of your thoughts and aware of the shape your mind, spirit and consciousness takes on as you tend your garden of the soul.
Today is a beautiful day to take out your shears and have fun pruning.