A garden is usually vibrant in color — even simple whites pop against lively green leaves like lilies of the valley. But, have you noticed the greys? Dusty millerwears yellow flowers while lamb’s ears show off pinkish-purple spikes. There is no “all or nothing.” Like life. Like the Tao.
Look closer at that familiar symbol for yin-yang. It is often identified as positive/negative, dark/light, female/male, etc., etc., yet in reality that is not entirely true. There is more to it. Like life. Like Tao.
In my busyness, I thought this symbol meant opposites. But, in waking up, I see the 2 small dots of opposing colors within each section. There is no complete 50/50, black/white, one or the other. Each has some of the other, and each needs the other to become whole. Life, for me, looked different then.
And the garden continues teaching me. About life. About Tao. Rain can nourish or flood…beautiful flowers can produce allergens… bees can pollinate and sting! Day turns to night, perennials bloom and die then return next year, the sun casts shadows (yin is for shade, yang is for sun). Everything is inter-related. Look at the white sunlight that produces the varied colors in a rainbow. There is so much to life, so much in between; it’s not all grey.
I am better off, my days are better off when I begin in the flow of Qigong. Years ago I practiced Svaroopa Yoga. Its deep relaxation served me well. But, then I tried Qigongand my life really started to change. I love the cyclical flow of energy — be it in my environment or person. This morning practice is my wake-up — of energy and to life. Naturally progressing to readings from the Tao, my life transformed into a new philosophy of living, thinking and breathing. Being a gardener, the Tao deepens my connection to nature which has deepened my understanding of life.
“Tao is the process of nature by which all things change and which is to be followed for a life of harmony” so Merriam-Webster says.
If you are unfamiliar with Qigong I encourage you to sign up for the free monthly QiTalksfrom the National Qigong Association. Their site is full of useful information like detailing what Qigong is, determining your energy composition, finding a practitioner who can teach you the movements, etc. And if there is no one in your locale, you can always try a DVD or visit YouTube. My favorite DVDs are Daisy Lee-Garripoli ‘s Radiant Lotus Qigong She also has videos on YouTube.
Like Yin and Yang, I find these practices produce a more gentle yet exuberant way of living life. Do you practice Qigong or the Tao? I’d love to hear your experience and how it’s influenced your life.
Walking to the garden this evening, this little beauty caught my eye resting on the window screen. I was so taken by the intricate wing and body pattern that I ran to get the camera. Take a good look at the lines, circles, color variations and textures from smooth to frayed edges. Maybe you’ll be mesmerized too.
The peonies are blooming now. This is how I mark my time. I do not use a “smart” phone but rely on Mother Nature. The late May calendar shows white and lavendar colored phlox, lilies of the valley, and deep purple, almost black columbine. Wild geraniums dot the pachysandra, and grandfather rhododendron (15′ high) arrived for their Memorial Day spectacular.
Foxglove, mugwort, irises, roses, and astilbe will join others to color my pages of June. Sometimes I can hardly wait. But then I catch myself to breathe in the beauty of the moment.