Plants! Whether you live in a jungle, a concrete jungle, or somewhere in between, chances are you’ve walked past at least one plant today. You may have passed by without a mere thought in its direction, but next time you may want to pause for a second and say hi!
Just like us, plants are expressions of life. Every living thing is an outward expression of life. If you take a moment to truly stop and look, you can get a sense of the kind of life each living thing is expressing. Take looking at a person, for example. Just by watching someone, you can read their facial expression, their body language, perhaps even the type of energy they embody. Taking the time to note these characteristics can give you helpful information. In much the same way, you can get to know plants, and I’d like to share how this can be helpful to you too.
If possible, please take a moment to look at a plant. If there is not one nearby, look at a picture of one or picture one in your mind. Whether it is a tree, a flower, or a small weed poking out of a crack in the sidewalk, the plant’s growth is expressing something. To find out what it could be, take a moment to be with this plant. Generally I find plants convey a certain emotion or expression through their growth. Sometimes this seems very obvious, as sometimes plant body language is reminiscent of ours, like a tree with graceful reaching limbs that looks nearly ready to do a celebratory dance. But even if it’s not immediately apparent, take a moment to allow your full present awareness to be with this plant. The nature of its expression may come to you through a feeling, a mental image, or even a phrase that pops into your head. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro at picking up on plant personalities! This small practice is one of my absolute favorite meditations. Try it when out and about in the world; you may notice you suddenly start gathering small tidbits of wisdom from trees you pass by. You might befriend a favorite plant you see frequently and it may begin to offer you a wave of comforting energy each time you pass by.
I have become more and more aware of this phenomenon and it has brought me indescribable joy and a deeper sense of being at home in the world. Many ancient traditions have acknowledged that plants hold wisdom and I’m here to remind you that this wisdom is still helpful to us today. As the pace of our daily lives increases, we risk becoming more detached from the natural world, and this simple practice of being aware of plants connects us back to our belonging here on Earth. Plants are peaceful, and spending time with their peaceful energy influences our energy to be more peaceful too.
This can apply to the plants we consume as well, so next time you’re drinking tea or juice, eating produce, or taking an herbal supplement, try extending your awareness to the influence this plant has on your body. You may notice a deeper appreciation for the nutrition you receive and a positive, plant-powered glow from within.
We need plants and plants need us to care about them. They bring oxygen, peace, and beauty to our planet. The deeper our relationship with our fellow Earth inhabitants, the more we can all grow together.