Gardener’s Golden Protection

golden meadow of the mind ~d nelson

Years ago a master gardener was asked how to keep the landscape
of mind beautiful, healthy, happy & gratified.
Teacher advised to water the beneficial seeds, avoid watering harmful ones.
Seeds of kindness, compassion and insight exist alongside those of fear, craving and hatred.
When anger, worry, anxiety or despair arise, don’t let them bloom in the garden alone.
Nurture seeds of mindfulness, which produce golden awareness of feelings, whether pleasant or painful.
Breathing in, aware of body, breathing out, relaxing body.
The energy of mindfulness embraces the painful energy, helping it lessen & become bearable.

all sides of the track protected

Americans are among the most stressed people in the world, according to a new Gallup survey.
Perhaps many could benefit from quiet garden time & also, a class by an experienced gardener.
Good gardeners know if unwholesome feelings or thoughts (mental formations) are neglected,
he/she will experience stress & ill-being; possibly wounding themselves and others.
Gardener’s insight recognizes good & bad seeds laying dormant in our consciousness’, until watered.
Since inner seeds cannot be eradicated, they’re best selectively watered. This is called true diligence.
Taking good care of my garden I’ve experienced fewer weeds & more blossoms, over time.
Let those beautiful, golden poppies of love grow.

If you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow. When the seeds of happiness in you are watered, you will become happy. When the seed of anger in you is watered, you will become angry. The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

136 Replies to “Gardener’s Golden Protection”

  1. Your post is wonderful David and my heart sings along with the wisdom of the gardener – and you.
    We can to some extent heal ourselves and others by practising this form of gardening. Tending, caring.


  2. What a lovely theme, David, with seeds and gardening, watering, and tending of our delicate humanness. Your gentle words and wisdom, and these glorious photos, will be treasured throughout these spring days as I walk the mindful path. Thank you, my friend.

      1. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Not only I take notes, my dear friend! I share them with others I know & who are in need of mindfulness! Happy Orthodox Easter! Greetings to your mindful lion dog (it is a compliment). πŸ™‚

  3. You have me smiling again David . . . I love everything about this – the photos, the titles (all sides of the track protected, warmly embracing the blues, golden meadow of the mind)…. and of course the profound overarching message of awareness about the seeds we sow. I used to sing and play that old Clapton tune, and one evening I’m go to search it out in my sheet music. Thanks for being here, and now (to paraphrase George Harrison). Peace and love, my friend … from Bruce

    1. how wonder that we are both smiling, Bruce!
      with so much beauty bursting all around me
      it was a joy to collect images nearby,
      then spend a few minutes writing.
      perhaps “let it grow” came first
      as lately i’ve been playing along with that tune, myself!
      wishing you happy planting and picking πŸ™‚

  4. A beautiful post, and very pretty pictures. I agree that more time around nature could probably help many as stress levels continue to rocket. Nature has a way of bringing calm and perspective, like a balm for the soul. xx

    1. smiling to your healing, seed watering, Caz!
      cycling around my community & collecting
      colorful images does make me feel good.
      not surprising many are stressed living in these crazy times.
      wishing you peaceful moments among the flowers
      & fresh, pure air, david πŸ™‚

  5. Beautiful David. The images an your words bring
    Grateful for all the seeds, and grateful for the weeds because they each show the presence or absence of the other.

    1. thank you for your deep understanding, dear shobhna!
      since we’re endowed with the gift of all categories of seeds
      it benefits all by being a caring, careful gardener!
      wishing you a quiet, garden space today πŸ™‚

  6. Beautiful and useful message, amazing photographs. We used to have California poppy in our garden – what a happy color.
    I am not sure Americans are that stressed out. At least you don’t have to wait months to see doctor if you are gravely ill, and you also have plenty of basic jobs available if you are stuck. I am going to the US soon, to see my family, and we all look forward to having a fun a relaxed time together. May be it is because we don’t ask for much? Select the right seeds – simple and wholesome? Laugh a lot? All of above? πŸ™‚ I guess so πŸ™‚ Thank you for teaching how to love our gardens ❀

    1. thank you for your kind reflection, dear inese!
      i encounter stressed out people regularly , so the survey didn’t surprise me. however, i’m sure many across this large country are living happily with vibrant, peaceful gardens. wishing you a joyful family reunion, with smiles and lots of blossoms. πŸ™‚

  7. Love this post David! Thank you for reminding us to keep planting beautiful seeds, that not only feed us deeply, but the whole as well. 🌸🌼🌷

  8. What a different world we would live in if all the world heeded this advice. Too many it seems water the seeds of anger and don’t know how to stop. It saddens me greatly, but I try not to water that. The more joy we can spread the more joyful the world becomes. A lovely post David, with beautiful photos. Love all those golden poppies.

    1. thank you for your caring insights, Alison! caring for yourself makes me smile.
      in your travels you’ve certainly encountered expressions
      of blossoms from the full range of seeds. someday there may be the kind & wise leading the way for humanity. even then, we’ll be doing our best to care for the seeds we’re given while helping others selectively water. i’m hearing louie armstrong singing it’s a wonderful world. may your day be relaxed and joyful, david πŸ™‚

    1. makes me smile that both the sights & sounds
      watered beneficial seeds, dear Tom!
      helps having music we like
      when caring for the garden.
      may your day be well. πŸ™‚

  9. These especially beautiful photos and perfect for this message. May the seeds of peace and joy blossom and grow strong in our gardens. πŸ™‚

  10. Words of wisdom David.. Seeds of kindness, compassion and insight are always to be found among the flowers of your posts my friend..
    And why I have to withdraw into the Earth to draw up her own healing balm as I learn to let go of weeds which strangle me..
    Much love David.. LOVED the images and your thoughts..
    Take care my friend.. ❀

    1. so very kind to offer your presence & water wholesome seeds, dear Sue!
      i can sense beautiful flowers arising as i type.
      it’s comforting knowing you are rooted in earth’s caring embrace.
      may each gentle step feel supported.
      may each calm breath feel relaxing.
      sending smiles blooming πŸ™‚

      1. hello Sue,
        hope you’re feeling rested & happy.
        in case you didn’t get it, here’s the comment
        i made on your post, today:

        gratitude for your continued
        courage to share truth
        and help inspire humanity
        to act as if our future
        depends on it.
        i’ll explore missing links, further.
        hope this finds you well.
        seems my comments have been
        ending up in other’s spam folder πŸ™‚

      2. David I thank you I doubled checked and found your comment had been sent into Akismet, something that is happening more and more recently of perfectly good followers comments.. You are safely installed where you are meant to be, and I loved your comment and will respond soon.. ❀ as I work my way to you my good friend.. THANK YOU…

      3. i’m grateful for your confirming the comment was sent to spam. i’ve made a couple comments this morning that seemed to post, so maybe i’m taken off the spammer list. may your day be well, david πŸ™‚

  11. Future signs to be put up at all gardens…:
    “To get the full experience of this garden, please leave Smartphone behind”.

    Lovely, bright colours, David. Really enjoyed the message too.
    Mindfulness comes with stillness (of the mind indeed) and I wonder if the reason
    for all the stress is not mainly because it is impossible to give one’s mind a rest
    if it’s permanently ‘on stand-by’ for if/when something happens online (a little
    buzz in the pocket always anticipated, with the accompanying screen attention
    that follows – numerous times a day. So the only mind-rest is during sleep.

    1. gratitude for your insight & successful watering
      of my happy seeds, dear Jean-Jacques!
      it those devices were really so smart they’d recognize
      what ill-health they’re causing their hosts – being on call 24/7.
      perhaps they’re more like a cancer, feeding off the host?
      imho, economics causes major stressors here with many feeling as if in a continual competition,
      where the bottom could drop out from under them anytime and an inadequate safety net, below.
      wishing you joyful seed watering and quiet in the garden πŸ™‚

      1. seeds growing, glowing while sowing, hear Hedy!
        i’m happy you enjoying seeing and listening.
        wishing you happy moments πŸ™‚

  12. A lovely spring reflection, David. I particularly appreciate the acknowledgment we don’t get to pick and choose the seeds within us, or eradicate them entirely by plucking them out and tossing them over the side. There is a wisdom to acknowledging it’s all in there, and then having the attention to water the ones that best serve us and one another. It feels like such a positive practice this way. Always nurturing and supporting the plants we seek to grow within us…


    1. smiling to your offering useful, personal insight, again, Michael!
      here we are with these potentials
      that many never understand in their lifetime.
      i’m inspired by movements in schools to teach mindfulness and social-emotional learning. my life would have taken a considerably different trajectory had i been
      a better gardener, beginning in my youth; caring for all the seeds for the benefit of myself & others.
      may we all bloom with our full potential of loving-kindness, compassion and harmony πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for your always
      kind, positive seed watering, Rosaliene!
      i’m a late bloomer related to gardening skill.
      it’s encouraging, as I wrote Micheal, above, that many schools (beginning about 15 years ago) are using curriculum on mindfulness and/or social emotional learning.
      imagine cultivating these powerful skills beginning in grade school!
      wishing you peace in the garden πŸ™‚

    1. thank you, dear gardener Cheryl for your sage confirmation
      of mindful garden tending! wishing you continued, joyful success!
      461 ocean blvd came out when i was a hs senior. been with me since πŸ™‚

  13. What a glorious sight those golden poppies are.

    By co-incidence, over the weekend, I emailed a message to a friend very similar to your post using my garden as a metaphor. I thought of Thay’s advice (from his book of Mindfulness) when typing the message.

    1. the meadows & i smile to your kind words of recognition, dear Vicki!
      i’m so happy you are able to express beautifully to friends using Thay’s inspiration.
      i’m not seeing any new posts. i hope you are feeling relaxed & happy. πŸ™‚

      1. I am awaiting a new computer at the current time. Can’t function with this incredibly slow upload/download etc. Just checking my gmail every morning in case there’s something urgent to deal with. I chose your post yesterday to read and will catch up with others when I get the new computer.

        It’s actually quite relaxing staying off the computer πŸ™‚

      2. i’m glad you’ll have a new, updated computer, Vicki!
        and, i admit to taking extensive, relaxing breaks from being on-line. such a luxury, these days. πŸ™‚

  14. David, what a wonderful, deep and insightful post! I really enjoyed reading it and taking in the beautiful analogy between mind and garden. Needed this today, thanks for your kindness! πŸ™‚

  15. I’ve observed that those “harmful ones” sometimes unconsciously take root despite our mindful intentions. I suppose we can simply acknowledge, accept, and appreciate them for the opportunities they bring to us, our continued practice in living as we are and as we will be. Thanks for sharing such beauty, SmileCalm.

    1. getting a kind message and insights from eM
      certainly waters my seeds of joy!
      yes, sounds correct! no fighting, no discriminating
      just acceptance and peace with all potentialities. of course,
      we favor the wholesome ones for the benefit
      of ourselves and all beings.
      hope you’re well and happy, david πŸ™‚

  16. David, an inspiring post with stunning photos of the poppies! They alone are uplifting! May we all remember to practice true diligence, being mindful to which seeds we give energy, strength! Reading this I now want to head out into my own garden, caring, nurturing, admiring … finding peace within the blossoms and the visiting bees! 🌺

    1. a smile for watering my happy seeds
      this morning, Annika!
      I’m hearing buzzing all around
      where you’re surrounded by
      the benefits of having cultivated
      the most beautiful garden
      of heart & mind πŸ™‚

  17. Such lovely images. One day we will learn that all of life is about gardening. and how diligent one is at growing seeds and blooms of light… jc

  18. So lovely, David! I loved to drive to see the wildflowers in the spring when I lived in Southern California as a child. California poppies were always breathtaking favorites of mine!

    1. such a kind, wet positive seed watering, dear Sunny! twas a wonderful, brief bursting of colors around here, with many late bloomers still present. happy hearing of your memory. i’ve seen some impressive shots of flowery fields from this year. wishing you happy moments πŸ™‚

      1. Dear David, I am so grateful for your personal responses to what I say here, remembering my struggles with compassion and how Alzheimer’s has desertified my husband’s world and mine by closest, loving association. A view of flowers brightens me beyond what you may know. I am thankful for meditation which calms my soul. No sangha here in Naples for me yet, but you and Thay are a big part of my larger one. I can be found via wskimmer at gmail. Hugs, Sunny

      2. smiling for your kind sharing, Sunny. i recognize your loving efforts require much personal energy & hardship. wishing you fragrant blossoms & support at every turn. i recall meeting practitioners from FL on past retreats, although I’m not recalling which cities they were from. And there is the wonderful option of on-line sangha for sharing with others in real time:

    1. thank you for this kind note, Betty. These insights
      colorfully offered, speak to me, also.
      accessible guidance on enhancing
      our personal gardening plot πŸ™‚

  19. Beautiful photos of bright flowers and ways to lighten up our minds. I need a day too to get outside and breathe in nature and smile myself calm. Thanks for all your inspiration.

    1. just back from a wonderfully floral cycle
      to find your kind, affirming seed water, navasolanature!
      wishing you bright, but calm fresh-moments πŸ™‚

  20. Those magnificent California poppies take me back to my years in California. There is much to be said for breathing through the pain. So simple, but so effective. Lovely words, as usual, David.

  21. This is truly an uplifting post about tending to one’s inner garden with ‘true diligence’. Thoughts are like seeds and one creates one’s own heaven or hell. I prefer reaching for heaven. πŸ™‚

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