Gardening the Soul.

Via Benjamin Riggs
on Jun 17, 2011
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Weeds and Flowers

“If we’re willing to surrender to the nature of things, then we are permitted to experience a vastness and beauty of life that we never imagined.

“We are like a garden that is just beginning to grow. Our job is to nurture that garden and not judge it. You might be a new gardener and plant a lot of seeds…You didn’t know the names of many of them and you definitely didn’t plan the garden. Then in the spring, all these little shoots come up. And if you’re impatient, if you are not a good gardener, you start trying to figure out prematurely and without sufficient information which ones are the weeds.

It is very important that, as those little shoots are coming up, we don’t try to decide which ones are flowers and which ones are the weeds. We don’t try to decide which ones are edible and which ones are poisonous. We let the garden grow and postpone the decision about which ones to weed out. We water the garden with the water of meditation and let the sun of loving-kindness warm the soil and nurture the plants. That’s our job. That’s all we have to do.

Later, when the time comes for us to weed, we realize that there actually aren’t any weeds. Some of the plants that, in the beginning, looked the most weed-like, turn out to be the most beautiful. Some of the ones that we thought were poison, turn out to be medicinal herbs. And so, we realize, “It’s really a good thing I didn’t start pulling out these plants and figuring out which ones are the good ones.” Many times, the plants that we thought were really good plants turn out to be very mediocre; really not the most beautiful or powerful plants in the garden. But still, even they are useful in their own way and have their own kind of beauty. So, in our person, nothing at all is extraneous.” ~Reggie Ray of the Dharma Ocean Foundation


Dr. Reggie Ray currently resides in Crestone, Colorado, where he is Spiritual Director of the Dharma Ocean Foundation, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the practice, study and preservation of the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the practice lineage he embodied.

The Dharma Ocean Foundation has an online media store where you can download “theme-based affordable bundles of talks, as well as complete program recordings.” Right now they are offering a free MP3 or PDF download, a talk from Reggie Ray entitled, “Emotional Awakening.” Click here for this free download.

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About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


3 Responses to “Gardening the Soul.”

  1. yogiclarebear says:

    what beautiful and perfect imagery, especially for this time of year.

  2. […] mulching is now one of my most commonly recommended and practiced gardening techniques. For one, it’s local. It allows you to put to good use most of the organic materials readily […]

  3. It is important that, as those little launches are arriving up, we do not try to choose which ones are blossoms and which ones are the fresh mushrooms.