Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Meditation on Seeding

People meditate in different ways and for different reasons. I often meditate while doing other things. For example, if I'm on the elliptical (which I haven't been in weeks), I often forgo the music or the television and focus on my breathing. This is good for my body and for my spirit. I am usually less mindful of my self, but I could argue that sometimes I meditate when I sing. I'd call this more a transcendent experience, or perhaps something even more active, like prayer. Some people practice guided meditation while others meditate while knitting. Some people sit in lotus pose, on a mat, in a forest, on a mountaintop. All of these sound calming and sacred to me. All seem to have the potential to help energize or relax, to reduce blood pressure and increase alertness, to improve an individual's sense of well being and mental clarity.

Let me share with you part of a blogpost I snatched from my friend John B. Farmer John, if you will. He's made a lot of changes in his life lately, and dropping out of college to pursue farming full time was one of his biggest and best, in my mind. He's written recently about planting seeds, and he does so beautifully and in his own real voice:

"Speaking of seeding, on the past few occasions I’ve been using a mechanical plate seeder to plant the crops.  It’s a fast and moderately effective device, yet it’s one weakness is that it spits out seeds like a machine gun.  This is bad for two reasons, the first being that when it comes time to thin the crop I’ll be stuck out there for hours, and the second reason being the fact that it’s very much a waste to spend so much money on seed and have to throw away the majority of it whenever it germinates.  We don’t have a precision planter, so I’ve taken to seeding some crops by hand.

"It’s a surprisingly spiritual exercise, I’ve found out.  The first thing I realized is that it’s very humbling to have to get on your hands and knees and move at such a slow pace, planting a few seeds at a time.  It takes a fairly long while, yet the time seems to fly after a while as your thoughts drift while conducting the monotonous exercise.  Before too long, I realized that this was actually a very effective form of meditation, a way to anchor myself and let my thoughts drift away in the sea of time.  Finally, before too long, I realized that there was a spiritual component to what I was doing.  I felt as though, subconsciously, I wasn’t merely planting seeds but also engaged in silent prayer as I knelt down to the ground and rhythmically slid my hand over the dirt to cover the seeds before patting down the location where they had been buried, as if giving them some final blessing before moving on.  Despite how tedious this exercise is, I imagine I’ll keep doing it even after a more precise seeder can be purchased."

Check him out.

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