Since reading Buddhism For Mothers, I've been interested in the idea of meditation as a way to bring an increased sense of clarity, calm and happiness to my life and how that can affect the way I parent my children. With the little bit of reading I had done about meditation, about setting up meditation spaces, mindfullness of breath and certain words to focus on, I felt too intimidated by the whole formal practise of meditation to even attempt it.
This week though I seemed to experience a form of meditation almost by accident, it was completely unforced and natural. I found myself meditating in nature. The warm weather had drawn me outside to my favourite spot in the garden. It's a little wild area where flowers grow higgledy-piggledy with a little old brick path running beneath the large apple tree. I went to sit up there to see the tulips as I had noticed they were all in bloom, but almost hidden at the top of our garden. I sat on the path for a while and felt the warmth of the sun, all the time admiring the tulips glowing red as they tilted their heads towards the sunshine. By simply noticing the beauty in that moment, really noticing how the tulips looked, their intense colour, their soft, firm petals and all the while hearing the sounds of the garden, the insects moving around, birdsong, a lawn mower humming in the distance somewhere far off, I felt myself re-centre and and feel a deep sense of gratitude. As I was paying full attention to the present moment I began breathing deeper as I experienced nature surrounding me. I felt thankfulness for seeing the true beauty in spring time. The tulips in bloom may only be short lived, but their impermanence make their beauty only that much sweeter.
Even though I found that 'still' for a short while, maybe just fifteen or twenty minutes, I felt positive, calm and happy. I'm sure it flowed into how I mothered my children for the rest of that day, with extra patience and attention.