The following is an excerpt from “Loving and Living Yoga: Reflections of A Yoga Teacher”, a collection of my writing on yoga, gardening, and life, which is being prepared for publication.


We are used to planning, getting, doing and finishing up and perhaps give little thought to the different rhythms of life that surround us. Plants have their own sense of time and show us how to nurture patience. Many seeds teach me quite a lesson. They germinate on God’s time and that may be irritatingly slow!

Sometimes it seems hopeless and impossible that there could be any life at all in a seed or bulb that has not yet sprouted in what seems like dormant soil. No little green spike pokes its head through the soil. Then I remember the comment made by a professional gardener when I complained that a plant was very frustrating in its almost negligible growth.

“Five years in gardening time,” he said “is really very little.”

That gave me pause to think.

What would it be like if we were to consider our bodies and minds as a special garden? Each human garden has many different varieties of seed that, just like the plants, vary in the pace of their growth. Some parts of our human plot seem barren and unpromising. There may be some vegetation in our garden that has not yet sprouted and so we forget about its existence.

Instead of water and sun, there are joys that nourish us: Joys like a special painting, a particularly significant piece of music, the dear voice of a child or the unforgettable smile of a lover. Paradoxically, the ache of a sorrow may also nourish with slow sadness transforming an experience which ripens the soil of the soul.

All of us live within our own garden, although we may forget and neglect our great invisible plot.