Meditating with my Tomatoes

You may know that I volunteer at the Orange Home Grown Education Farm and I love it! I’ve become a big gardening enthusiast and look forward to our Friday morning volunteer work days. I’ve been trying to sprout seeds for the farm, and it’s been a mix of success and failure. I bought a starter tray with 50 little cups, a heating pad and some soil. My friend entrusted me with some precious seeds she had purchased at a gardening conference, and I enthusiastically began. I learned that my cats think anything growing in dirt is for their entertainment. After seeing a few plants dug up and also eaten, I discovered the top for the tray.

Now the seedlings are safely behind plastic and
away from the jaws of the beasties.
I was super excited when the seeds began to poke up through the soil. Every morning and evening I’d visit them, celebrating every millimeter of growth. Weeks passed. The stems got taller, but were super skinny. They weren’t developing any leaves beyond the first two that came out of the soil. More weeks passed. I got worried. I made sure they were watered and warm, and tried making a few other changes, but just skinny stems and two leaves.
Eventually I found a YouTube video explaining that several hours of DIRECT sunlight is very important. It helps your plants move from the germinating stage into the growing mode. The symptom of too little sunlight is long skinny stems, just like the ones I was growing. My plants have been getting filtered light, not direct sun. Simple, right? I’ve relocated them to a sunny spot and they’re back on their way, growing and developing normally.
This made me think about how often in life we find ourselves not thriving,
and how meditation can help to address the issue.
There are many different approaches to meditating. When I get into conversations with people, they often say, “That’s not for me, I can’t handle trying to get my mind to do nothing.” Lots of people assume that meditation means clearing your head of all thoughts.
Because they know how busy their minds are, they are pretty sure they can’t do it!
While some traditions of meditation emphasize a still or empty mind, yoga meditation operates differently. We provide students with techniques that teach them how to direct their attention and keep it focused on a concept or an object, such as water, for example. Yoga meditation is usually designed by a teacher for a particular student.
In living our life, various experiences, and also things we frequently think about form sort of a link that influences us. In some cases, those links can become sources of stress. In others, they can provide insight or be nourishing.
Much like giving my tomatoes the proper sunlight, linking our attention to
an appropriate object can have a beneficial influence on our state.
Some people may need to link to calm, others may need to link to something energizing, and others may just need a way to contemplate and do some self-discovery. Whatever the need, yoga has a means of responding to support the person, and your teacher can assist you in this process.
It’s funny how I was giving my tomatoes what I thought they needed to grow and it wasn’t working. It wasn’t until I got information from an outside reference who had actual experience in the process that I found the right solution. It’s the same in yoga. Having a guide to help you is instrumental in your growth and progress. It’s certainly been true for me.
Meditation is a lifelong pursuit, and can provide profound benefits, but it’s not a self-taught kind of thing.
I work individually with students interested in going deeper with their yoga. I teach yoga as a therapeutic practice for healing on all levels – physical, mental, and emotional. Often, I pair yoga as a support to people making changes to their nutrition and lifestyle. My training as a holistic health coach helps me work with clients to identify what areas of life they want to work on, and together, we develop achievable goals. For information about classes and mentoring, I invite you to schedule a free 15-minute call with me.