Last night I went to a sangha, or spiritual community, gathering. The group studies with Thict Naht Hahn, a Vietamese buddhist monk, and gets together to practice meditation on Thursday nights. I had been wanting to attend for months. My desire had intensified since I went to a day long practice and found the group to be warm and welcoming. I kept making excuses not to go and planning other things on top of it. Last night I decided it was time, moved through all the good reasons I came up with about why it was a bad idea, and got myself there.
I really enjoyed the sitting and walking meditations and the mindful eating practice. Afterward the leader shared about the practice called begin anew. It is a practice for starting over with another to clear the space of conflicts or hindrances to connection. The first step is called flower watering. The idea is that when something is troubling you with another person it is important to begin by telling the person what you appreciate about him or her. I loved the idea that flowers need water to grow and that flower watering is healing for humans too. I shared with the group that all too often I pile shit on myself and expect to grow instead of using the warm water of appreciations. Another women suggested we use flower watering with ourselves and share something we feel we have made progress with. Several people did this flower watering and it helped me to get to know them. It made me more mindful of how easy it is for me to focus on what I am doing wrong instead of flower watering and how much better at appreciating myself I am than I used to me. I appreciate that I went last night and put it on my calendar to start going regularly. I appreciate that I am writing this blog, being vulerable and taking the opportunity to share my process with you. I appreciate you for taking the time and energy to read it. I appreciate your passion for learning and growing. Would you like a suggestion? How about taking some time to practice flower watering with yourself today. How about every day?