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Mindfulness in the Garden: Zen Tools for Digging in the Dirt

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Mindfulness in the Garden offers simple mindfulness verses (gathas) composed to connect the mind and body and to bring the reader/gardener’s awareness to the details of the present moment as they work in the garden. These gathas are signposts leading to nature, to the present, and ultimately to one’s self through the love and understanding they evoke. The gathas offered wi Mindfulness in the Garden offers simple mindfulness verses (gathas) composed to connect the mind and body and to bring the reader/gardener’s awareness to the details of the present moment as they work in the garden. These gathas are signposts leading to nature, to the present, and ultimately to one’s self through the love and understanding they evoke. The gathas offered with each gardening activity serves to water the seeds of mindfulness within us, and softening and preparing the ground for our ability to be present. Mindfulness in the Garden values weeds as important messengers seeking to bring into close communion our spiritual nature with that of the environment. It likens spiritual practice to cultivating a garden and inspires each person to accept themselves and start where they are, weeds and all. Through the practice of mindful gardening, we invite not only the thriving of the natural world but also the flowering and beauty of the pure land of our true self to emerge. Features black and white botanical illustrations throughout. Introduction by Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Present Moment Wonderful Moment Foreword by Wendy Johnson,author of Gardening at the Dragon's Gate


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Mindfulness in the Garden offers simple mindfulness verses (gathas) composed to connect the mind and body and to bring the reader/gardener’s awareness to the details of the present moment as they work in the garden. These gathas are signposts leading to nature, to the present, and ultimately to one’s self through the love and understanding they evoke. The gathas offered wi Mindfulness in the Garden offers simple mindfulness verses (gathas) composed to connect the mind and body and to bring the reader/gardener’s awareness to the details of the present moment as they work in the garden. These gathas are signposts leading to nature, to the present, and ultimately to one’s self through the love and understanding they evoke. The gathas offered with each gardening activity serves to water the seeds of mindfulness within us, and softening and preparing the ground for our ability to be present. Mindfulness in the Garden values weeds as important messengers seeking to bring into close communion our spiritual nature with that of the environment. It likens spiritual practice to cultivating a garden and inspires each person to accept themselves and start where they are, weeds and all. Through the practice of mindful gardening, we invite not only the thriving of the natural world but also the flowering and beauty of the pure land of our true self to emerge. Features black and white botanical illustrations throughout. Introduction by Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Present Moment Wonderful Moment Foreword by Wendy Johnson,author of Gardening at the Dragon's Gate

30 review for Mindfulness in the Garden: Zen Tools for Digging in the Dirt

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Buhs

    A chimera of a book. Zachiah Murray is a landscape architect in the Santa Cruz area, and she is a Buddhist follower of Thich Naht Hanh (who writes the introduction and founded the publishing house that put out this book). The book is presented as a series of Gathas for when works in a garden, with commentary. Studded throughout the book is also landscaping advice, some of it oddly specific (such as what size mesh to use to keep gophers away from plant roots). Much of it is advice-that's-not-advice: A chimera of a book. Zachiah Murray is a landscape architect in the Santa Cruz area, and she is a Buddhist follower of Thich Naht Hanh (who writes the introduction and founded the publishing house that put out this book). The book is presented as a series of Gathas for when works in a garden, with commentary. Studded throughout the book is also landscaping advice, some of it oddly specific (such as what size mesh to use to keep gophers away from plant roots). Much of it is advice-that's-not-advice: let the vision flow, be adaptable, etc. There's a whole great hunk of it that seems to owe more to American Romanticism than Buddhism: nature is a reflection of my soul, working in the garden is communicating with Others, that kind of thing. Only a few snippets here and there get at the more radical notions of Buddhist ontology and epistemology: the idea that things co-create one another (which is very different than nature being a mirror of the soul) and the idea that there is no stable self. She does come to these points, here and there, but not in any sustained way. I don't think it's Murray's intention, but this blending gives the book a New Age-y vibe, the loosey-goosey thoughts of a hipster into artisanal things. Which is fine, I guess, but seems, ironically, too adrift from the very earthy pastime of gardening to really feel solid.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tony Bogar

    Puts into words so much of what I feel when in the garden. One to keep referring back to.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    Well, mostly read. It was getting way too repetitive so I had to move on.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Harriet Wrye

    Zachiah Murray brings deep practice and deep knowing of the landscape of the land and the landscape of the soul. This precious gem, "Zen Tools for Digging In the Dirt," just the size for a gardener's pocket, begins with a forward by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, then offers eleven short, inspiring chapters including subchapters with headings such as "on looking at a tree, learning the language of the land, designing your garden, the wisdom of weeds, honing humus, cultivating compassion, water, our Zachiah Murray brings deep practice and deep knowing of the landscape of the land and the landscape of the soul. This precious gem, "Zen Tools for Digging In the Dirt," just the size for a gardener's pocket, begins with a forward by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, then offers eleven short, inspiring chapters including subchapters with headings such as "on looking at a tree, learning the language of the land, designing your garden, the wisdom of weeds, honing humus, cultivating compassion, water, our teacher, finding common ground, the beauty of impermanence, ripening with grace, and surrendering separateness". Black and white woodcuts by Jason Deantonis compliment this small treasure for gardeners, meditators, and anyone who enjoys seeking nourishment of all kinds in a garden.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tim Weakley

    To begin with, the book as object is beautiful. A smallish, hardbound copy with appealing pen and ink style drawings illustrating the topics. The subject matter, being a unique combination of gardening and Buddhism, has interconnectivity as the theme throughout. This was a rewarding little exercise during a crummy winter day. It left me with ideas for the garden in the summer which was tough during an almost blizzard.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Kay

    A beautiful introspective read which combines Zachiah's handpicked crafted words to reflect on oneself within the limitless boundaries of a garden. A beautiful introspective read which combines Zachiah's handpicked crafted words to reflect on oneself within the limitless boundaries of a garden.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peta

    Not really my cup of tea, but I'm sure it would appeal to some. Not really my cup of tea, but I'm sure it would appeal to some.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christine K

    Sweet little reflections. Some good meditative thoughts on gardening and life in general.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carlotta

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kat

  12. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Gruber

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Jaquith

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan Nagy Luks

  15. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Cole

  17. 5 out of 5

    Geary R Smith

  18. 4 out of 5

    Martha

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tiana

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen Twinem

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tara

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Neal

  24. 4 out of 5

    Becca

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kris

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fernleaf

  27. 5 out of 5

    LeAnn Locher

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julaine

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