Mindful Gardening and Mindful Eating

That you have to break some eggs to make an omelet is so true. 

This weekend, we took out the circular herb garden to make room for the expanded vegetable garden, and that hurt a bit. It also hurt our backs, shoulders, arms, necks, and legs, since the circular design was made entirely of rocks, and those had to be lifted one by one and taken away. My husband and I are a bit sore today!

But the soil is now almost ready for planting. One more tilling with manure, and we’re ready to start. It’s April 27 and everything should be in the ground in just over two weeks.

After much discussion, we’ve settled on the foods we’re going to grow this season:

·      Eggplant

·      Tomatillos

·      Mung beans

·      Cucumbers

·      Tomatoes

·      Green beans

·      Summer squash

·      Watermelon

·      Cantaloupe

·      Greens bed (already growing): lettuces, dandelion, arugula, Italian parsley, kale

·      And there are the apple and peach trees, and potted herbs

The weather is slowly warming – still some chilly nights – and the days are noticeably longer. I’ve put the geraniums and avocado trees outside. Ancho chili, holy basil, and Italian basil plants are out during the day, in at night.  After Mother’s Day, they will be outdoors full time.

Now that we’re on our way to harvesting beautiful, bountiful tables of fresh summer food, I’m dedicating even more practice to mindful eating.

This is the Buddhist principle of honoring our food and all its sources, as well as our bodies. Practicing mindful eating can be a challenge when you have a spouse who (understandably) sees mealtimes as a chance to connect with the person at the table and not just the food in the bowl. But I’ve still been able to incorporate some of the practices of mindfulness while sharing meals with my husband.

Here’s a good basic article on the subject:

Eating more food than we need to live has its roots in displaced hunger and is a substitute for a hunger of a different kind – spiritual and emotional longing, a yearning for connection, compassion, and love. I grapple with this displaced longing, and so does everyone I know.

Every meal is a sacred occasion. We should give lots of thought to what and how we eat, and be present in the moment – every time we eat. We must be grateful for the food we receive, and acknowledge that gratitude at every meal. Be silent, chew slowly, eat only what we need. 

Thích Nhất Hạnh speaks eloquently on the subject. His books, ‘How to Eat’ and ‘Savor’ are two that I commend to you.


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