This Beautiful Earth

this_beautiful_earthMy previous post on gardening was inspired by this book by Will Parfitt, who has explored personal and spiritual development for many years, particularly through psychosynthesis and kabbalah. Its subtitle is ‘Gardening as a spiritual practice ‘, so you can see the connection. [I should declare that I have known Will for many years.]

Will draws parallels between the practice of gardening and the living of daily life in a mindful and spiritual way.

“A gardener is part of the garden and the relationship between the garden and gardener is a shared practice of mindful living, of increasing consciousness.”

The introduction gives an excellent summary of what is in the book:

“This book contains many stories that have a spiritual take on gardening… adaptations from Zen koans, Sufi stories about Mullah Nasruddin,… Taoist teachings,..”

For the purpose of review I have read the full text. In practice, it is probably better used as a book to dip into and savour, allowing its messages to slowly percolate.

I recall reading the tales of Mullah Nasruddin by Idries Shah many years ago, and Will’s book has a similar quality. It is not to be read literally, but in the realm of metaphor, paradox and zen – a traditional approach to the spiritual path. If that appeals to you, do buy it!

Note that this book is not specifically about gardening as such. As Will says on the back cover,

“The gardener is a metaphor for the Self, that part of us that observes, witnesses without judgement and, through its connection to our deepest sense of conscience, helps us to make affirmative decisions in life.”

Nice one, Will!

For Will’s other books, on Psychosynthesis, Kabbalah, etc. see his website.

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