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The Garden of the Mind

The cover of this New Yorker accurately depicts the gardening brain state I wrote about yesterday. It doesn't matter if I am planting seeds in my greenhouse or if my hands are deep in the dirt of my garden; when I am gardening, I am gardening. Regardless of what is going on in the world, this practice brings peace and joy to me. The mindfulness of gardening is a gift that heals.

This upcoming weekend I have the privilege of giving a talk about a revered spiritual teacher who is known by many, as “The Father of Mindfulness”. At age 92, he has chosen to spend his final days in Vietnam, the home of his birth, where he continues to offer powerful lessons.

Martin Luther King Jr. called Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh "An Apostle of peace and nonviolence.”

Nhat Hanh has devoted his life to the healing and transformation of others. His teachings show that through the practices of mindfulness we develop peace in ourselves and the world.

He wrote the following about the garden of the mind.

"Your mind is like a piece of land planted with many different kinds of seeds: seeds of joy, peace, mindfulness, understanding, and love; seeds of craving, anger, fear, hate, and forgetfulness. These wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind.

The quality of your life depends on the seeds you water. If you plant tomato seeds in your gardens, tomatoes will grow. Just so, if you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow. When the seeds of happiness in you are watered, you will become happy. When the seed of anger in you is watered, you will become angry.

The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong."

– Thich Nhat Hanh in Anh-Huong & Hanh, 2006

Water your garden with a breath practice today!

Click here for Breath of Peace and Joy!

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