There is currently a very marked awareness around mindfulness, and the significant effect this has on our daily lives. Greater exposure to nature through gardening, walks and meditating in green spaces can have a considerable impact on our wellbeing.
Eastern Philosophy on Nature’s importance:
Plants and other elements found in nature have long been a part of spiritual practices. For example, The Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment whilst meditating under the Bodhi Tree.
The bodhi tree is located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
In Vedic philosophy, it is understood that everything has a vibration which creates and radiates energy. (in quantum physics, all matter and energy are interchangeable). Generally, the higher the frequency of our vibrations, the less prone we are to suffering.
Uplifting Elements from Nature
In Hinduism, the collative energy from Nature is accorded great importance and is known as the Maha Shakti Devi – The Great Goddess of Power. We can seek help from Her to build up/ increase the vibration in our homes and ourselves. Creating spaces where there are living plants, water, and light are very tangible ways to manifest this.
Plant lovers are already subconsciously doing this via the current renewed interest in the sale and use of house plants.
Creating a Shrine
I believe that it is imperative in this age to have a small, humble space dedicated to our spiritual practices.
Start simply by dedicating a clutter-free space/surface as a shrine.
Clean and Cover the surface with a simple light-coloured fabric or leave bare if you prefer.
Place a central object or Murti (figure/sculpture) / picture of something that holds special spiritual significance.
Add a few objects that you love dearly.
The use of plants like holy basil, sage, bamboo, jasmine (or any plant you resonate with), that invokes a feeling of wellbeing is vital to the space. Plants can also aid in purifying agitated minds as they remove toxins from the air.
Water elements can be a simple goblet of water or a few flowers in a small vase/jar.
Finally add light elements: candles, small lamps or incense.
Develop a Daily Meditative Practice
Find a quiet moment to meditate regularly, pray or be fully present at your shrine.
Begin by offering a small amount of water to your plants (if they need it) to show your gratitude. Then, take a moment to intentionally tune in and notice the shape of the leaves, structure, blooms and pay attention to how you feel doing this. Then light your candle/ lamp.
In most Eastern religions, flowers are offered at the shrine to a deity (we do this at our shrine at home). I think this is done not just because it beautifies our spiritual places but, on a deeper level, this most humble offering, free from nature, is a sublime example to us.
Anything offered with deep love and devotion will hold a vibration and uplift you. As you perform your meditative practices, the higher energy created will change the air and emanate throughout your home.
It is no wonder that the soul is often represented as a thousand-petaled lotus flower. Hopefully by creating a sacred space and time to connect with nature in your home, you can begin the process of peeling back the petals.