I went home recently to visit my parents. During our regular garden tour, as we were busy admiring all the beautiful things my Dad has planted, he pointed to a patch of bluebells and asked, “do you remember those?”
I had to confess I didn’t and and he explained that I’d planted a few bulbs there when I was a small child. Now, over two decades later, there’s a wonderful patch of bluebells.
This for me was a great analogy for the way our minds work. Mostly we’re not even aware of the seeds we’re planting in our consciousness, or what will ripen as a result but, sooner or later, something is bound to grow.
In the fifth century the Buddhist Master Vasubandhu wrote;
Mind is a field in which every kind of seed is sown…
In us are infinite variety of seeds,
Seeds of samsara, nirvana, delusion and enlightenment,
Seeds of suffering and happiness,
Seeds of perceptions, names and words.
If we have the opportunity to develop a spiritual practice (be it meditation, prayer or gardening), listen to teachings or read inspiring words, it’s like filling our minds with positive seeds that will eventually multiply and create more positive mental states. The same is true of compassion, love and peacefulness. We may not feel them now but by holding intentions and planting positive seeds we are laying the foundations for the future. This is an incredible opportunity for transformation.
Every day we have the opportunity to choose what we plant in our minds. Who knows when the seeds will eventually ripen or how far they will spread. Much of our popular culture and the way the news is reported sows seeds of fear, greed, aggression, ego-centrism and paranoia.
As the Buddha said, “With our thoughts we make the world”. This is echoed once more by Vasubandhu when he writes;
The quality of our life
depends on the quality
of the seeds
that lie deep in our consciousness.
What kind of world do you want to plant?