ADD MEDITIATION BOOK
A little while ago, I wrote about about miniature prayer gardens, and since then, we have enjoyed having a miniature buddha garden and a miniature gratitude garden in our office as a reminder to stop, breathe and say thanks.
Prayer, thoughtfulness, meditation, personal reflection, deep thought or quiet time – whatever your preference – are activities that seem to get missed in our busy lives. Having a simple reminder or a “place to go” can help nudge you to take a moment or two out of your day and align your thoughts and emotions so you can carry on with a clearer purpose.
And a miniature garden is the perfect way to help you do that.
Prayer garden, meditation garden, gratitude garden and peace garden are some of the general names that have come up. Miniature grotto, miniature altar, miniature zen garden start to get more specific as will the individual deities that you can include in your mini garden, Madonna garden, Buddha garden. A symbolic candle, personal charm or small photo can also stand in for the focal point.
Rotate the accessories in and out of your mini garden whenever you want. As with all things miniature garden, never feel that it is a permanent decision; give yourself some freedom to play with your different ideas and find whatever keeps you the most grounded.
We went over some general guidelines in our “Little Altars Everywhere” blog that will help you create a wee sanctuary to evoke peaceful mindedness and calm. Here’s a quick review:
- Lots of plants.
- Minimum clutter.
- Pathways can evoke flow. (Of breath or of calm flowing in, for example.)
- Focal point can help keep your thoughts focused.
- Include a spot to visually sit or kneel to inject yourself into the mini space.
Now you can start to go into a bit more detail as you now that you’ve spent some quality time with your little garden altars. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your meditation gardens happy:
6. Tend to the garden. Maintain the health of your plants. Snip off any brown leaves or dead branches. Gently wash off the branches with a soft rag. Or give it a tepid shower with water* then gently wipe the leaves. (If you don’t wipe the leaves, you won’t get rid of the dust. Yes, I know, you may have a lot of leaves but this task in itself is very meditative. ;o)
7. Aerate the soil. Use a fork to break up the top layer of soil if it is crusty. Use a skinny dowel to poke into the soil, going right down into the pot, and around the plant’s roots to get some air to them and to loosen the compacted soil so the water can get to where its needed.
8. Wash and clean. Give your rocks, patios and accessories a wash or wipe. Use an old toothbrush and mild dish soap and give your accessories and furniture a bath. Sweep off the patio area, fluff and flatten-out the gravel on the path and patio.
9. Water well. Put it all it all back together and water* until the water comes out of the drainage hole on the bottom. If you are miniature gardening indoors, put the miniature garden in the sink or tub to do this and let it drain for a couple of hours before placing it back in the saucer. Make sure you have a sink filter/screen to catch and prevent any chunks of dirt from going down the drain and clogging up your plumbing.
10. Get specific. Use a symbol, figure, representation or icon that will direct your focus and attention exactly where you want it to go. Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, will help clear away your mental clutter. A pretty rock that says, “Thanks” reminds you to be grateful. A small figure of your own deity will help you keep your thoughts in check. Interchange or swap out the accessories whenever you feel the need or to get refocused on a certain thing.
Miniature gardening is an adaptable hobby that can be very personal, or you can share and explore it with others too. Arrange a workshop for your group or club to create a miniature garden altars or gratitude gardens. It’s a fun way to connect with others and you’ll get something purposeful and meaningful from it.
*When watering plants from with tap water – Let the tap water sit for a couple of hours before using it to water your plants so the chlorine can evaporate. Let the water come to room temperature too – as opposed to freezing cold water from outside. Your plants will thank you.
Like this? Then you’ll love our almost weekly Mini Garden Gazette, it’s free. Join here.
Want more? Check out my ebook that is full of photos of all kinds of miniature mediation gardens! Make your own altar, see how to add a wee fountain to your garden and much more! When the ebook updates, you get a free update! See more here.
As a practicing Buddhist that just moved into a new situation I have been wondering how I could set up my own shrine in such a way as to not offend my Christian roomies. This is the perfect solution…Thank you