Meditating with House Plants


Wow! This sounds dreary… but it’s not… it’s cosmic. Whenever you feel close to the point of screaming — taking on the horror of the news— listening to the arguments of all sorts of people, arguing in an argumentative way— hearing about acts of ugliness elsewhere in the world… just take yourself off and meditate with the plants. Trees will do, but they are difficult to get in the house; plants are usually more accessible. It has fallen to me to look after the plants in this house, while the more experienced and knowledgeable gardeners lay claim to the gardens in the front and back, and on the roof.

The roof terrace. I’m not allowed to plant anything here, but I do enjoy it every day.

I think the feeling may be that I am not to be trusted in the open, and they may be right. It’s true to say, my family has a lot more gardening experience than me. So, let’s get back to meditating with houseplants. First of all, I do believe in the loving power of a plant in the bedroom; it’s particularly nice if it’s visible when you go to sleep or wake up. It’s like a fairy or an angel keeping an eye on you as you snooze. In the morning a plant will greet you with an air of calm and peace, and it doesn’t answer back or demand to be fed. If you feel relaxed, your mind might drift off to other lands where this plant has been in a previous life. Just think about it, plants and their leafy relatives have been everywhere — exquisite ornamental gardens in sunny climes, formal gardens, wild gardens, dingles and dells and fabulous jungles occupied by exotic flora and fauna.

The plants that wake me up in the morning

One can also meditate as one waters the plants, and it’s a good idea to talk to them as well. They are very responsive to a loving conversation, and unquestionably flourish when spoken to. My plants grow particularly enthusiastically when addressed in a loving way.

It’s quite easy to get lost in the foliage of plants. One can easily imagine oneself poised on a leaf or sitting on the top of a rubber plant. Many of my plants have acquired personalities attributed to them from their origins, as gifts, or in the light of their popularity. My sister, who died 11 years ago gave me a rubber plant. It was tiny and grew as rubber plants do, becoming a giant tree-like thing. I gave it to a friend who had a conservatory, but it was a mistake. She killed it;  luckily a leaf fell off as I was taking the plant off to the plant-killer, and I propagated that fallen leaf… and now have two magnificent rubber plants, one in the bedroom, one in the bathroom, reminding me that death has no dominion. I also have some other plants, that are sometimes memorable, special and even contentious.

Carol Kirkwood’s money plant aka crassula ovata

I have a wonderful money plant given to me by the wonderful weather girl, Carol Kirkwood, and a great many spider plants, that are held in utter contempt by my family, and my neighbour, who says that they are dated boring plants of the 70s… which may be true. But I love them, they remind me of cascading waterfalls, and apparently, they are very powerful when it comes to absorbing all sorts of toxic stuff in the air.

Spider plant, a lovely thing but not popular in my house

Plants are gentle, calming and inspirational. One can use them as a starting point for a meditation in many ways and we don’t always need to eat them. Sometimes they are just perfect as companions, keeping us company.

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