At times, Mother Nature seems to play tricks on us. Just when we think its planting time she throws a fresh blanket of snow on the emerging crocuses and sends us running for our winter coats. And such is life when we find ourselves ready to plant a new habit, or newfound spiritual idea in our lives. We’ve just attended the most amazing workshop or read an outstanding book, or visited with a great spiritual teacher. We’ve kicked some old habit or limiting belief. We greet each day with a newfound sense of balance and harmony and authenticity. Then wham! A fresh blanket of snow falls. Some unexpected circumstance has us seeking the old worn out coat, the old habit, the limiting belief, and we can barely believe the words being uttered from our mouths.
Despite the erratic climate, it’s time to think about planting; whether it’s crops, or flowers, or a more authentic version of ourselves. ‘Planting Me,’ is showing up as the most authentic version of self; becoming embedded in that; and living, growing and thriving from that consciousness. ‘Planting Me,’ is planting my highest self in the garden of consciousness.
The earliest spiritual writings utilize the metaphor of gardens, seeds and trees to illustrate the infinite, eternal nature of life and the role of humankind in it. The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) contribute to our yearning to explain the beginning of the finite world with the story of the Garden of Eden, filled with lush plant life and various trees. Two of the trees are named; The Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Tree of Life, God suggests, humankind should use for nourishment and sustenance. It is the tree that represents life, wholeness and harmony. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil however, is the most well known in the Judeo-Christian culture, and the one that humankind chooses to taste. It is the perception of Good and Evil that leads us out of the experience of wholeness to one of judgment, division, separation and conflict.
As the story goes, the gates of Eden are then closed to humankind and guarded by angels. However, if we see recognize angels as divine ideas or messengers of God, we find that the return to wholeness is just a divine thought away. Like a seed that falls from a tree, we contain all of the characteristics of our Source. To plant an authentic version of ourselves in the garden of consciousness is to return our thoughts to the image and likeness of God imprinted upon our very being, and to embed that in every thought, every word, and every action.
By turning our thoughts to the wholeness of God, our own minds and hearts are opened. Eden, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil are within us. The choice from which to eat or be nourished is ours in any given moment.
© 2016. Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra
Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity Minister currently serving at Unity of Livonia, Livonia, MI