by Wendy Ford
Ahchoo! It’s Spring in Arizona and nature’s garden is arising. The cacti are in bloom, the wild poppies are tipping their bright yellow faces to the sun illuminating hillsides in a shimmering, yellow glow, the bougainvillea are drooping heavy with their scarlet blossoms, the birds are starting their nests. It seems the world is waking up. Of course the downside to a beautiful Spring in Phoenix is the myriad of pollen causing untold misery to those of us whose immune systems are challenged by all of this beauty.
As Nature changes over from Winter to Spring so does our spiritual life experience a change. We turn our spiritual faces from the inward contemplation within the quiet inner darkness of Winter, spiritual hibernation if you will, toward our Sun, our Source. We take the same deep breath that Nature does to begin our awakening from inward focus.
With the Spring Equinox comes the time when there is an equal amount of sunlight and darkness marking a moment of pause between the dark and light. During that very brief moment there is a pause between Nature’s Winter and Spring. Think of it like hands of the clock at midnight. When midnight strikes, there is a very brief moment when there is a pause; it is neither night nor day. Just as Nature’s Spring is separated from the Winter in the moment following the pause so is our Spiritual Spring separated from our Spiritual Winter.
Nature’s Spring is the time when the land is warmed by the lengthening hours of sunlight thawing the frozen soils and moistening the soil with winter’s melting waters. Even in a climate like Arizona there is a change of seasons, though less dramatic. The warming moist soil cradles dormant seeds encouraging them to soften and to sprout. Initially nothing seems to be happening for all the activity is taking place underground invisible to the naked eye’s perception.
Spiritually the same process occurs. The deep internal contemplation in the darkness of our Spiritual Winter has hopefully resulted in planted seeds for growth which with the increasing light from Source will begin to sprout and grow.
As in Nature one dare not disturb these Spiritual seeds by digging or rooting about to see if anything is happening. These seeds are meant to be left unseen and protected in the darkness. If one has tended their garden well, there will be results. Of course this is assuming the gardener has taken proper care of that garden by doing the work of harvesting the old plants, separating the wheat from the chafe, removing the weeds, tilling the soil and planting new seeds in the Fall.
Again Nature shows us the truth about our spiritual lives right in plain sight. An untended garden choked with rotting vegetation from previous years of growth or has dried and withered plants that resulted from lack of the proper attention will be unproductive. Parched earth will not be fertile and seeds sown on rotting or withered vegetation will not be able to find fertile soil.
Our spiritual gardens reflect Nature. Our illusions and delusions can tangle and clutter blocking clear thinking, contemplation and discernment. If there is not a clear area for the Light to shine on, then all that is “seen” are the erroneous beliefs and thought structures that left unchecked (unweeded) will continue to replicate, choking out any chance for the truth of any matter or experience to be exposed for discovery.
Our spiritual gardens are infinitely more delicate and require more maintenance than any physical garden ever planted. While a physical garden requires physical work and sweat, the spiritual garden can be influenced by the simplest of thoughts. All it takes is the “planting” of one erroneous conclusion and the Subconscious will take it run with it. It will continue to be replicated and tangle and twine around anything it comes in contact with. It is capable of tainting and choking out an otherwise pristine “crop”, correct conclusions and thought processes, and poison it.
Constant attention and awareness are required to ensure that we are planting healthy seeds by way of Self-conscious attention and intent; we must be vigilant to the communications from the Subconscious. Through careful listening and attention our Self-conscious can discern when Subconscious has sprouted a “weed”. We are then alerted that we somehow sent the wrong message and are able to modify it if we chose to do so. Unfortunately, most are unaware of the status of their spiritual garden. In fact, most folks are not awake enough or aware enough to even realize they have a spiritual garden.
Weeding our spiritual garden can be time consuming, for most of us have planted what we think is a very pretty garden only to eventually discover it is filled with weeds growing on a pile of manure in the Subconscious and not in healthy fertile soil. Keep in mind Subconscious had absolutely nothing to do with the weeds and manure. Subconscious only received what Self-conscious gave/told it. The weeding process requires contemplation, the development of discernment and attention. Most importantly it takes the ability to be brutally honest with oneself. Once the weeding has been done the manure must be dug through with conscious intent by the hand, so to speak, of Self-consciousness; no tools will help with this process. Finally, the exposed soil must be tilled, watered and reconditioned.
To take an honest look at one’s spiritual garden can be a daunting and intimidating experience. What will I find? Do I really want to find it, to know in what areas the erroneous thought processes lie and how, when, why, where they were “planted”? Once I find out my beautiful garden is just an illusion then what? How do I fix it? Can I fix It? It will take learning what tools are needed i.e. perhaps psychotherapy with a PHD level psychologist trained in EMDR, and/or learning how to contemplate and explore those interior recesses. Do I want to fix it? Am I willing to put in the effort to do the work it will take and spend the amount of time it will take?
A successful sprouting in the Spring can be a very satisfying and exciting experience both in Nature and in our spiritual lives. It is all about growth, the spiritual, vertical growth that can only occur following the work of clearing out the weeds making way for new seeds to sprout and thrive.
This is a project that takes patience, repeated acts of attention and contemplation over time just as the care, maintenance and tending of a physical garden does. It also requires us to participate in the flow of the Life Power, to tune in to Its ever present presence. If you choose to participate and listen, It will be your gardening companion and provide for and assist if you let It.
Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC