What is Gardening for Peace and How do we do it?
There is no one way to practice Gardening for Peace. In a sense, all gardening is Gardening for Peace, for the peaceful feeling of being in a garden is one of the major attractions for practicing gardening in the first place. This sense of being at peace in the garden is one of the reasons that gardening surpasses all other forms of recreation in the number of people actually participating in doing it. For gardening to become the conscious practice of Gardening for Peace, only a focusing of intent on the part of the practitioner is necessary to complete the transition from a peaceful recreational activity to a personal spiritual practice and a powerful force for world peace. After some decades of discovery and practice of Gardening for Peace, certain elements common to gardens dedicated to this practice become evident as common features and principles.
Some of these Essential Elements are as follows:
Dedication of the garden and the work of the gardener(s) to the spirit of peace in this world. Acknowledgement that the humble practice of gardening can become a powerful spiritual practice sending forth a vibration of peace and healing throughout the planet and to all humanity, especially to that portion of our human family suffering from war, hunger and poverty.
Invocation to God as Creator, and through this call for help from the spiritual realm, visualize an inflow of spiritual power that includes the angels, fairies, elementals and all other helpful spirits to participate with the human kingdom, the humble gardener(s), in the co-creation of this garden dedicated to peace to help it succeed.
Follow the three-fold practices of Mahatma Ghandi which constitute the basic means to wage peace in defiance of a culture of war and injustice, which include Satyagraha (Soul-force or spiritual power), Ahisma (non-violence, peaceful action) and Swaraj (home rule, including Swadeshi: home production and self-reliance).
Practice Generosity: Share the bounty of the Peace Garden with as many as possible, especially the needy, the downtrodden, the abused. Also share the abundance with family, friends and neighbors, even enemies or people with whom you are experiencing conflict, thus spreading the vibration of peace throughout the community. Don’t neglect the wild things either, for they too are the creatures of God. Allow up to 25% of the growth to be consumed by the nature participating in the garden. This includes offerings, losses to birds, insects and diseases, crops fed to or consumed by animals, and portions recycled through incorporation into the soil or compost.
Create Sacred Spaces in the Peace Garden and surrounding landscape. Create altars and shrines, places for sitting in prayer and meditation, sacred geometries and structures such as labyrinths, medicine wheels, and mazes, erect peace poles, prayer wheels, cairns and statues, incorporate crystals, special plants, flowers, water features such as fountains, water falls, ponds and reflecting pools, and stonework, tile-work and such to create special places to invite and celebrate the indwelling presence of the Divine.
Create the Peace Garden using low-impact appropriate technology to have a minimal impact on the environment. Some examples include passive solar design for buildings and structures, photovoltaic power for lighting, drip irrigation for watering, greenhouses and cold frames for season extension, hand tools and small engine machines instead of massive tractors and earth-moving equipment. Allow the Peace Garden and the work of the gardener to blend with the earth and the natural features of the site.
Organize the time spent in the Peace Garden to always allow some quiet time in the garden, to just sit still and take in the vibration of peace as the garden’s gift back to you. “Be still and know I am God.” Allow time for prayer, meditation and attunement in the garden in order to actively seek to work with the spirit of peace in the unfolding of the work in the Peace Garden. Allow inspiration to work through you in visioning the garden as you work to create it.
Celebrate in the garden! Use the garden joyously to celebrate season, feast days, milestones in life, and the shear joy in living. In music, dance, sharing food, laughter, the presence of children, be sure to celebrate the Peace Garden as a spiritual center in life of the community.
Why Gardening for Peace?
As we enter the 21st Century, humanity has reached a point in its cultural and organic evolution which we call “childhood’s end”. When we were children, we could do the things of children, but now that we’ve grown, we can do childish things no more. The fighting and squabbling of prior ages cannot continue in an era where weapons of mass destruction threaten to destroy all civilization.
Gardening for Peace is a method to send the vibration of peace into this troubled world and all the people in it.
Through Gardening for Peace we seek to cultivate in ourselves the consciousness of “Awakened Being”, a human consciousness worthy of the future evolution that awaits our coming of age.
In the course of human evolution, we must remember that there are two missing links, one with the apes and one with the angels. If we fail to embrace our link with the angels, our future may well become a throw-back to the planet of the apes. Through the practice of Gardening for Peace, every human being can choose to become more of an awakened human being, becoming a force for peace in the world. We hope you will join us in cultivating a peaceful world in homage to the sacrifices of our ancestors and as our legacy to our children.