Gardens have often been used as metaphors for spiritual nurturing and growth. Zen rock gardens, monastery rose gardens, even your grandmother's vegetable garden all have been described as places of refuge and reflection. Drawing on her experience working at Seattle's premier gardening center, Zen teacher Geri Larkin shows how the act of gardening can help you uncover your inner creativity, enthusiasm, vigilance, and joy. As your garden grows, so will your spirit.
Larkin takes you through the steps of planning, planting, nurturing, and maintaining a garden while offering funny stories and inspiring lessons on what plants can teach us about our lives. As soothing as a bowl of homemade vegetable soup, Plant Seed, Pull Weed will entertain, charm, and inspire you to get your hands dirty and dig deep to cultivate your inner self.
When Larkin was a college student, she took a job as a gardener something she says she knew absolutely nothing about. Now more plant savvy, the former management consultant turned Buddhist priest and author (The Chocolate Cake Sutra) uses gardening and Shantideva's The Way of the Bodhisattva to mine themes for her text. Her points are simple: see clearly, become more intentional, tame your mind, give generously and live with a wide-open heart. While advocating passion and enthusiasm, Larkin has learned the hard way that the best gardeners are patient. When we slow down, she writes, then chaos becomes beauty, lethargy energy, insolvable problems solvable. Her spare but pithy prose, common sense and laugh-out-loud humor emphasize her points. Other lessons also resonate: Learn to lose. Let go of mistakes. Forgive. Be kind. And don't worry, for anxiety will block your joy. Larkin is at her best when she shares personal experiences and insights, rather than stories about others, and the few recipes seem random. Although Larkin's book is clearly aimed at Buddhists, at its heart is a lesson about staying awake and paying attention to life, which is good advice for readers of any religious stripe. Readers will find Larkin's central promise We can be happy. Right here. Right now difficult to resist.