“With every breath I plant the seeds of devotion – I am a farmer of the Heart.” ~Rumi
All of us can be farmers of our hearts, and in a relationship there are two that farm their garden together. Sacred intimacy for Couples is like gardening. You can choose the size and type of garden you wish to share together. You may want a rose garden, a vegetable garden or one full of trees -or you might want a garden that includes a bit of everything and is there for all seasons. You may want flowers to enliven your senses, vegetables to sustain and nourish your body, and evergreens to give you hope and the promise of life.
However you imagine your garden, you need to begin with the basics. For a relationship, “Trust” and “Respect” is the good, rich, dark soil that encourages roots to grow deep. “Devotion” is what plants the right seeds that produce strong vibrant plants, and regular watering is the “Attention” each one gives to the relationship that enables beloveds to stay in flow with spirit and ensure full growth and longevity -creating sacred intimacy together.
Once you have the basics, you’re ready to put in the plants of your choosing. If you are a couple devoted to one another or are seeking to deepen your commitment and support for each other, you will want to imagine how your garden can feed and sustain you in all seasons. The way you imagine and cultivate your garden symbolizes the values you want to cultivate together -as well as how you define and perceive your relationship.
For example: our garden has a pond with lotuses and white swans over the water; it’s surrounded by green grass and tall evergreens. Behind it is a temple and at the far end, it has an inviting silver gate for those seeking healing, self-growth and a deeper connection to themselves, each other, and the Divine. Our relationship garden is based on a mutual sense of life purpose which is to provide healing and growth for those couples and individuals who are ready to realize it.
What is important when cultivating your garden together is that you find your happiness -just like gardening- in being present with each other and with the process of relating together. Enjoying moments of communion, discovery, and awakening together gives each other hope and support when “winter” comes and times are difficult. Similar to gardening, cultivating sacred intimacy in a relationship does not happen overnight and so it is best to begin with the awareness that it is an ongoing process of self-growth and transformation.
The garden you create will evolve and change as the two of you grow in your relationship. This requires a willingness to expand and remain open to change while embracing each other with the awareness that nature, like relationships, is never static but always changing. Patience and trust are foundational for enduring the winter season, especially harsh ones that challenge the strength of your relationship’s soil and test your desire to keep your garden together. Whatever the challenge you’re facing, remember that everything appears diminished or “plain” in winter. This is a time to go within and “prune” those parts of your garden that no longer serve you or your relationship. Consider what it is that propels you to move forward in creating your garden and what holds you back. Be patient and trust that spring and summer will arrive, and more and more parts of your garden will grow and flourish.
Here are some basic guidelines for taking steps to co-creating your garden together:
Breathe and meditate together, inviting the images of your garden to emerge and share these with your beloved. Reflect on the meaning of the garden you are envisioning together and remind yourselves of your collective purpose.
- Individually, work on your own inner garden and develop a solid awareness of your interior self, your strengths and weaknesses.
Sharing a garden with your beloved becomes challenging when you don’t have the tools within you to plant and cultivate your own inner garden.
- Attune yourself to the three levels of love: 1.) the love you have within you, 2.) the love for your beloved “other” and 3.) the love shared for the Divine. When you attune to these three levels of love you no longer exclusively rely on your partner for your satisfaction and joy -but still feel holistically wrapped in love.
- Be willing to allow your garden to change as you grow and as your relationship evolves.
It is likely that Rumi had in mind: “paradise” when he used the word garden in his poetry. The word paradise comes from ancient Persia, originating with the renowned gardens of the kings of that realm. This most ancient idea of paradise is what results when cultivating the garden within you -and then with your beloved. We join with Rumi in inviting you to become farmers of the heart. Wherever you are in your relationship or inner self-growth, start there in creating your garden, and together, trust that it creates the paradise you seek in your relationship. Don’t delay. The perfect time is now. Start planting the seeds and everything else will follow.
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