“In the way that a gardener knows how to transform compost into flowers, we can learn the art of transforming anger, depression, and racial discrimination into love and understanding. This is the work of meditation.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
This quote cuts to the heart of a frequent misunderstanding in working with our Reiki precepts (Anger Not, Worry Not) and developing the mind in general.
We often think we need to go to war against our thoughts and feelings. But really, we are our thoughts and feelings, and our thoughts and feelings are us (just as we are everything, and everything is us). So we are going to war against ourselves!
Seems counterproductive, don’t you think?
The gardener starts with our everyday garbage, right out of the kitchen, encourages its natural path through decay to rich compost (with the help of our little insect, worm, and microbial friends), and gradually nurtures it into flowers, vegetables, and trees.
Gardening is a collaborative art. We might turn our nose up at the garbage we pile up for compost, but we still appreciate and respect its role. We work with it to create something beautiful and nourishing. Which means it was already beautiful and nourishing to begin with.
So we must be with our thoughts and our feelings. The way to train the mind is to love our thoughts and feelings with all our hearts.
We don’t worship them or cling to them. We might even sniff our noses up at them (stinky rage, ewwww!). But we must sit with them without war in our hearts.
May each of us realize the garden of peace waiting to grow within us. May we know our thoughts and emotions as the compost we can use to nourish our garden and not the fence blocking our way to eden.
Inspiration Credit & Appreciation: Many thanks to the ever wise and articulate Thich Nhat Hanh. And thank you to the International House of Reiki Facebook page, where I recently came across this wonderful quote.