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Sunday, September 20, 2009

My DIY Meditation Garden

This post is for brides and everyone else. Have you ever meditated? I used to years ago. Meditation is the practice of clearing ones mind of all thoughts which helps greatly for relaxing and in relieving stress as it slows your metabolism. For many it's simply a way to decompress that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with religion and has more to do with becoming self aware.

I was not raised Buddhist but one day I saw a tv show about some Tibetan monks who performed a deep meditative/relaxation practice called Tumo. In a freezing cold winter cave in the Himalayas a group of monks who were barely clothed had their bare shoulders and upper torsos covered with thin wet cloths. By regulating their breathing and body temperature through thought only, they raised their body temperatures by as much as 50 degrees so when they should have become hypothermic something amazing happened instead. The wet cloths begin steaming dry in the frigid cave. It showed me the incredible things our minds are capable of if we only know how to use and direct our energy.

Phase 1: I cleared out the space beneath these trees to create my meditation area.

I don't aspire to practice Tumo but do enjoy the benefits of simple meditation as a wonderful method to release the type of tension we all face in our day to day lives. So where to begin. I wanted to create an outdoor area to mediate in. A small sacred space of my very own.

Phase 2: Adding additional plants.

Since moving in with my hubby we had done next to no work on the backyard so the bushes and trees were completely overgrown. I began my efforts back in August. I started making some time early in the mornings to go out and work on my new meditation garden.

I chose plants that don't need full sun since this part of the yard only receives morning light. When I do mediate I love doing so in the morning facing east since that's where the energy for the new day comes from.

Phase 3: I added a cool metal chair I found years ago at a salvage yard.

I also added two small lanterns that I can use to burn incense in. Some of the plants are herbs like lavender, rosemary and thyme so they also scent the air in a pleasing way.

Phase 4: I created a padded and covered seat for the salvaged chair.

So the chair I found years ago at the Omega Salvage yard up in Berkley. It cost $5.00 so it was a good deal. The legs were two arcs. I buried the bottom legs into the dirt so it looks like the chair is balancing on rails like a rocking horse.

I asked hubby to use his power saw to cut the wooden seat base after I outlined the shape I wanted in pencil on a piece of plywood we had in the garage.

Then I went to an upholstery shop for cotton batting to pad with (3 layers) and found this scrap of Sunbrella fabric for $2. Sunbrella is the fabric used for patio furniture so that was a great find!

I didn't do this all that professionally. Just used a staple gun to staple the fabric down. But it worked and it's comfortable. The seat isn't attached to the chair due to the sprinklers hitting that area each morning so I just carry it out with me and place it on the chair frame. It works great!

And an extra bonus. While clearing the area I found three of these little Japanese Maples that had popped up. I repotted all of them and am giving two to friends and keeping one to train into a bonsai.

So basically whether you're stressed out planning a wedding, by your job, family, friends, or state of the world, meditation can bring you some relief. Feeling happy and content will help create more positive (flirty) energy around you and that will attract more positive energy to you.

I'll post the occasional update on how the garden continues to shape up :)


  1. The meditation garden is coming along nicely. I really like the chair you made and the flowers.

    I love the Japanese Maples, Stacie!! They are so tiny and cute.

  2. Very nice. I got a meditation DVD from Netflix last week. Five minutes into the meditation, I fell asleep. The sitting position is much better and you created a very cool space on your own property to do it. The only thing you need now is a fountain!

  3. Thanks Wendy and Rich. We do have a waterfall fountain in our yard but the pump broke right as I began working on cleaning up the yard :( A friend who is a fountain/pump expert is going to come take a peek and help me to fix or replace it. On the upside our neighbors also have a waterfall fountain that runs 24/7 so I always have the sound of falling water whenever I go outside or open the backdoor. It's great!

    LOL Haven't fallen asleep... yet. Early mornings or midday are the most quiet times to use the garden. I'm loving it!

  4. Your garden is beautiful, Stacie. And the story is heartwarming as well. Just the act of reclaiming this beautiful space is a meditation in itself, I think. A kind of dharma - doing/meditation. You and your little maples ROCK!

  5. Thanks MIchael, it was meditative working in the garden. And doubly so I have you to thank for it. Can you even believe seeing your beautiful garden inspired me to do so much in my own yard? Even going out and sweeping off the back patio each day has become a working meditative process that I thoroughly enjoy.


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