Friday, March 20, 2015

Someone Else's Spring

Winter comes to every one of us sooner or later.
And every spring, just like clockwork, 
the garden is reborn.
By the time we die the real question is,
"What have we done 
to leave our garden better prepared for spring--
someone else's spring?

--George Vaillant

Monday, March 2, 2015

Meditate With Me

You can meditate with me while I'm on the first 2 weeks of my self-retreat!  Here's how:

Download Insight Timer onto your iPhone or iPad for $1.99.

Register your app.

Friend me on Insight Timer.

You'll be able to see when I'm meditating.
Perhaps you'll join me for a few minutes. ��

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Meditative Gardener is On Retreat until Easter

I'm taking the month of March as a silent retreat month. I'll be at home for the first 2 weeks, doing a self-retreat. After that, i'm going to 3 different retreat centers.

I have a few posts scheduled for March, but in order to see them, you need to subscribe to my blog so that they will come directly to your email.

The Meditative Gardener will resume blogging on Easter.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Fragrance of Love

My sister sent me a get-well bouquet on Thursday, the day of my surgery. I was a bit woozy, walking around the house like bumper cars when the doorbell rang at 6:00. My sweetie had left to go to a meeting, so i went to the door to be greeted by a gorgeous bouquet of star-gazer lilies.

My sister knows my colors. This bouquet matches the trim on my house. Just looking at all these flowers brings me a lot of happiness.

The scent of happiness greets me every time i walk in the door. Ahh! The fragrance of those lilies :)

My sister is 3,000 miles away, but the fragrance of her love is right here with me.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Blue the Bluebird

My friend Kathryn was sitting in her car in her driveway when she saw a bird fall out of a tree and into a snowdrift. It flapped its wings, but was unable to extricate itself. Kathryn waded through the thigh-high snow to reach it. A bluebird!

She carried Blue into her house to warm it up. Then she called the local vet who specializes in birds. She took Blue over to the vet about 1:00. The vet put Blue into an incubator and fed him some worm meal. Kathryn called back at 4:45 to find out how the bird was doing; she was kept on hold for a while. Finally the vet came on the line and said that Blue had perished while Kathryn was on hold.

Everything we cherish will perish. Even those things we love for just one afternoon. Like a bluebird.

Blue in the veterinarian assistant's hand.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


When i say i have zero fear about this breast cancer / lumpectomy today, some friends think i'm in denial. Other friends say, "You're so brave" or "You're so strong." Strong has nothing to do with it. I am not taking a stance nor standing against cancer nor standing up to it. I am surrendering.

I surrender to Life as it is unfolding.

Right this minute, not even the doctor knows, really, what he will find. He has made some educated guesses. I surrender to his expertise.

Not even the doctor knows what my follow-up treatment will be. "It all depends" on what he finds. If he doesn't know yet, i don't need to know.

For years i have ended my meditation with May i see and accept things as they really are.

Today i see that many things are unknown. May i accept not knowing what cannot yet be known.

No worries. No fear.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Zero Fear

Yesterday, the rabbi asked me, "What's your fear level?"

"Zero," i said.

I have breast cancer.

Notice your fear level. Right this moment.

I'm going for a lumpectomy tomorrow.

I've known about this for 10 days. (See my February 17 blogpost.) And my visits to my local doctor and hospital (4, so far, with another one today) have been stress-free. So easy.

Pain is inevitable; Suffering is optional.
Resist the present moment (the mental pain, the thought
of cancer), and distress arises.

The future cannot be known. Not really. The doctor doesn't know what the follow-up will be until after the lumpectomy. Wanting to know what can't be known is called anxiety and worry. I'm not going there.

Today is a sunny, blue-sky day.

This is what our meditation practice has been aiming at for all these years: Deep happiness regardless of outer conditions.

Meditate today as if your hair is on fire. Your life, your well-being depends on it.