Sunday, April 13, 2014

Root-Bound Amaryllis

I've had a steady stream of amaryllis blooming for the past month, often 2 or 3 at a time. I thought i had 3 amaryllis plants, but i seem to have about 8. I'm not sure where they all came from. Well, 2 of them came from a plant sale at a library, but beyond that, i don't know. I feel so delighted to have actual blooming amaryllis.

For years, i tried all sorts of tricks to get my amaryllis to bloom. I did what the garden books said: cut off the foliage in October and don't water them until December. I tried planting them outdoors for the summer.

Meanwhile, my neighbor who did absolutely nothing, other than water his amaryllis every week, had reliable blooms, year after year.

I finally decided to plant the bulbs in small pots, let them get root-bound, and Voila! Flowers! Usually 2 stalks on each plant.

When we practice concentration meditation, we narrow our focus on one spot. By binding our attention to a single point, such as the breath, the mind blooms into joy and even bliss.

My amaryllis bulbs are multiplying, so i'm dividing them, and putting each one in a small pot.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happifying Tulips

I started tulips in pots before Thanksgiving and put them in the garage for their winter vacation--not exactly dark, but dim and in the 30s. I brought them indoors in mid-February, and it took longer than i expected for them to bloom.

When i came home from 3 weeks of retreat, my sweetie had set 10 pots of tulips on the front step. Outdoors, they will last for two or three weeks in the refrigerator weather of spring, while indoors, in the warmth, they would come and go in less than a week.

I love the tulip blast on the front step. Not much is blooming in the gardens just yet, so all those tulips are not only colorful but happifying as well.

What leads to your happiness? Flowers? Birds? Nature? A walk in the woods? Happiness opens the heart and relaxes the mind. We need 5 times as much happiness to balance the negativity that is all around us, beginning in our minds with little bothers and nuisances, frustrations and impatience.

Include some happiness in your day today.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Meditative Gardener Wins Another Book Award!

The Meditative Gardener wins a gold medal from Independent Publishers of New England for being a Perennial Bestseller.

Our 8th Book Award.

Order you blinged copy now. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Greeting Spring in the Garden

My sweetie gave me a garden sign for Christmas. It's a quote from Ruth Stout, who became famous as a garden writer in her 50s and was still lecturing in her 90s. Here's a link to her famous video.

The day of the vernal equinox is even (equinox = equal nights), with 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The sun rises due east and sets due west.

We aim for evenness, balance in our own actions and perhaps, especially, in our speech. This balance is not a static thing; it's constantly moving--like the sun.

So, we greet spring in our garden, knowing that the next moment will change.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sow Poppy Seeds on Snow. Now.

Is this the last snow of the year? We can't be sure, but if it is, it's time to sow poppy seeds. Strap on your snowshoes and trek out to the flower beds where you want your annual poppies to grow. April is too late. Sow poppy seeds on snow. Now.

(If you need poppy seeds, email your snail-mail address to me at cheryl.wilfong at, or message me through Facebook, and i'll send you some.)

What seeds do you want to sow in your life? Kindness, patience, tolerance, skillful speech?

We can sow those seeds now, even if our inner climate is cold and snowy, dark and dreary. Simply begin now with a few moments of mindfulness.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Standing Meditation at the Post Office

I went to the post office this morning and bought stamps. Flower stamps of course. I always buy flower stamps. And i got some of the new postcard stamps of blue hummingbirds.

I still use stamps, lots of stamps actually. I'm always amazed at the person in front of me in line who buys 1 stamp. Wow. I have no idea what their life is like. Mine involves paying bills. Even though many bills are now paid by automatic withdrawal from my checking account, i still need several stamps a week for bills. A couple of postcard stamps each week to send postcards to our grandchildren whom we don't see very often. And (hint, hint) stamps to send poppy seeds to faithful readers like you. (This is an enticement to read Friday's post.)

Standing in line at the post office is a great opportunity to practice standing meditation. Simply being mindful of standing. Or mindful of eavesdropping. Or mindful of the opinions and judgments running through my mind. One stamp! How do they do that?