Gifted with a green thumb I was not. An admirer of nature’s beauty I am. Perhaps it’s in my DNA from growing up in Tokyo. The city throbs with a techno-neon beat. Commuters walk faster than any seen at Grand Central Station. Yet a park, a playground or a temple burgeoning with blossoms beckons at each train stop in Japan. Or at least trees whose branches whisper their promise to bloom again in spring.
Perhaps it’s ancient Asian wisdom at work. Our spirits require relief from stress. Nature is a reminder of our greater nature. Japanese Matsu Pine often survives raging storms. Plum trees blossom in winter. The garden, too, is where flowers wither and saplings sprout. (Do you hear Elton John singing The Circle of Life?)
Gardens are a mirror, a meditation on life. The looking glass reflects the news that youth is gone. Wrinkles somehow sneak onto my forehead. Hamlet (via the Great Bard) says, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2, Lines 257-8)
Well, my mind pounces to “bad.” In the garden, a droopy daffodil is a wink, a reminder that all is well. It’s part of the natural process that skin sags and lines will etch themselves on the face. According to scientists though the credit for my brilliant reframe (read way to make myself feel better) belongs to Mother Nature.
Sunshine really does contribute to sunnier dispositions. It’s a natural D-vitamin antidepressant. According to University of Colorado, Boulder research, harmless bacteria found in soil also raises serotonin levels. A regular dosage of sun regulates sleep. More fascinating fun facts are found here.
Scientific studies (as you probably know) have also linked meditation to marvelous health. And looking younger! Consistent meditators, say Japanese scientists, have more efficient cell repair and less aging.
Sooo, if any of this is of interest…You are invited to stroll the Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens AND attend an Introduction to Meditation & Sound.
For details, please visit PeaceLabyrinth.org.
Wishing you a peaceful and healthy summer!