Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Naturalizing Mindfulness

The Dutchmen's breeches have jumped into another flower bed, about a hundred feet away from where i am carefully colonizing them. This process of naturalizing a wildflower makes me very happy.

I grew up in a rich woods in the Midwest. On May Day, my sister and i picked bouquets of Dutchmen's breeches, jack-in-the-pulpit, wild phlox, and spring beauties.

When i moved to my home in the dry pine woods of the Northeast, i tried repeatedly to grow the wildflowers of my childhood. No luck.

Eventually one of my shaded nursery beds, under an old apple tree, turned out to be the perfect place for Dutchmen's breeches. I stopped planting other wildflowers in that bed and just let the Dutchmen's breeches have free rein.

We try to naturalize mindfulness in our lives. It isn't easy. It's hard enough to be mindful when we're practicing sitting meditation. How can we possibly practice mindfulness at work or in the car or on the phone or on the computer?

We keep meditating, practicing mindfulness, and then, one day, it pops up while we are taking a walk. There it is. Mindfulness in our daily life, naturalizing itself.

I am delighted that the Dutchmen's breeches have naturalized into the woodland. Mindfulness is another name for happiness.

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