Monday, June 21, 2010

Tending Zucchini

“… consciousness is said to be a field, a plot of land in which every kind of seed has been planted, seeds of suffering, happiness, joy, sorrow, fear, anger, and hope.  The quality of our life depends on which of these seeds we water.  The practice of mindfulness is to recognize each seed as it sprouts, and to water the most wholesome seeds whenever possible.” Thich Nhat Hanh

summer offers time...

time to notice what's growing
in this active plot of land
 that is my mind
 time to see the
countless shoots of suffering, 
 of joy, fear, anger, love, and hope...
on this longest day of the year
there is time to contemplate
the few shoot-thoughts
that seem wholesome

time to notice 
 other shoot-thoughts
hiding in the shadows—
do they know i tend to see them
as weeds and yank them out?
they must not trust me to
see, accept, investigate,
and let them be—
so they lurk in
the dark.

with this gift of time
i try—as best i can—
(and it's not easy)
to cultivate,
to feed,
to water
wholesome thoughts

while simply watching,
accepting, wondering about, and
letting fly away the many others—

in the garden i tend
the zucchini, the strawberries, basil
aspargus, eggplants, tomatoes, chard, kale,
  a loud black bumblebee thrice circled menacingly
as i
what did
she want?

the neighbor's cat watches, and is only mildly interested
in all this fussing over plants.


steven said...

a song of love about love. consciousness for me is an awareness of love. unconditional love of course. pure love. the love that connects all things before they become objects or plants. you see it all dan and that's what makes this place part of your being such a joy!! steven

The Pollinatrix said...

This is gorgeous. I already reposted the Thich Nhat Hanh quote on Facebook.

As the Pollinatrix, I think I can say with authority that the bee wanted to bless you.

"There are no events but thoughts and the heart's hard turning, the heart's slow learning where to love and whom. The rest is merely gossip, and tales for other times." ~Annie Dillard

Bonnie said...

Not surprising, Dan, that your inner garden is as beautiful and prolific as your outer one.

Catherine said...

Your posts are seeds in my garden. I water them daily.

Paul C said...

Wonderful post including...'letting fly away the many others.' This letting go of disparate thoughts and issues which may consume us is an important concept.

Dan Gurney said...

steven, I love what you say, "the love that connects all things before they become objects or plants" I don't always see that love, but in moments of great peacefulness and clarity, it does shine and connect.

Dan Gurney said...

Polli, you're the expert on pollination, so I'll accept your take on it. The bumblebee was just going about its business awfully near my head, as if I were wearing flowers in my hair, which, I assure you, I was not.

"the heart's slow learning where to love and whom." Wow, that's good. perhaps the where is everywhere, and the whom everyone? I think Jesus said that, and the Buddha, too.

The key is to modulate our rain of love with discernment so that our love doesn't drown love-drought-tolerant plants on the one hand, nor cause love-thirsty plants to do without the water they need to thrive. It can be tricky...

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Bonnie-- you're nice to say that. If you could only see the careful hand weeding I do daily.

Dan Gurney said...

Catherine, thank you. That's very encouraging. I'm trying to keep my doors ajar so some poetry can sneak in my journals and find their way onto Mindful Heart. Slowing down, way down, helps.

Dan Gurney said...

Paul, exactly. And once you have the concept down, the much harder part is the practice of that concept. It's so hard not to meddle with one's own mind, particularly when the thoughts are displeasing. The most practical strategy I know is to simply get curious about them and look more deeply at them. It surprises me how often I discover that my negative thoughts do not like to be examined dispassionately.