Friday, May 6, 2011

What's Your Micro-climate?

My grandmother's birthday was May 1, and my sister and i always went into the woods to gather a wildflower bouquet for her--spring beauties, jack in the pulpit, and dutchmen's breeches. I still love these ephemeral wildflowers that only bloom for a few days.

Over the years i have tried transplanting wildflowers into my woods, but i now live in a dry, pine-y woods that is slightly acidic. The wildflowers i love grow in a damp, calcium-rich soil.

Transplanting a meditation practice into our lives, we need to find one that will grow in our very own internal micro-climate. The formality of Zen? The "Catholic-ness" of the Tibetan tradition? The no-frills approach of Theravadin? Or perhaps we add meditation to the tradition we grew up in--Christian, Jewish, or Moslem. Maybe we add meditation to our heart path of Nature-based spirituality. The Buddha's teachings form an internally-consistent hologram that can deepen our foundational practice.

Sometimes meditation practice just doesn't "take." A plant needs a particular combination of sun, water, and soil. So do we.

Keep experimenting.

I keep moving my wildflowers from bed to bed. Now, dutchmen's breeches have spread all over my wildflower nursery bed. That's the habitat they like, and i'm not moving them. They can stay right there where they are multiplying. I'll find another nursery bed for the other wildflowers.

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