No doubt you’ve experienced how gardening can be a form of meditation. But have you considered how the plants themselves might enhance your sense of serenity? I’m conceptualizing a meditation area with succulents that incorporate soothing geometric patterns and spirals.
The eye never tires of following a circular design. Case in point: I sometimes catch myself staring at this canvas print, above, in my living room. (It’s more relaxing than the TV.)
My meditation garden will have at its center an egg chair in which I can swing and rock—a happy reminder of my childhood. I’ll arrange rosette succulents (see list below) around it, vary their sizes and distances, and create groupings of them that in themselves offer repetitions. The area will be in dappled shade, bordered by a terrace on one side and pots on the other. A solar-powered fountain will muffle traffic and neighborhood noise.
Deep-toned, bell-like wind chimes will provide a pleasant sound and enhance my awareness of breezes. I listened to several wind chimes (anything’s possible on the Internet) and ordered Corinthian Bells 44-inch wind chimes. At $116 they’re a splurge, but anything smaller was too high pitched. (It helps that the fountain and chair are bargains.)
Additional tactile elements are the warmth of the sun, fresh air filling my lungs (“remember to breathe!” says my yoga instructor), cushy outdoor pillows, and maybe my dog on my lap. (I’d prefer a purring cat, but my husband’s allergic. Memo: See if neighbor will loan me her kitty.)
As for fragrance…in spring my garden has scents of orange blossoms and wisteria, and I’ve often thought of trying to grow jasmine again (my first attempt failed), but it’s easier to simply find incense I like. Doesn’t incense for outdoors sound wonderful? I ordered this assortment, which includes sandalwood, jasmine and others.
Finally, I’ll invigorate my taste buds with chilled water that has a few drops of mint essential oil. Or if it’s chilly, a cup of hot chamomile tea.
On to the plants! Here’s my short list of favorite symmetrical succulents:
— Large aeoniums, ideally variegated
— Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’
— Sempervivums that have offset in a hens-and-chicks fashion
— Large, colorful echeverias
— Echeveria imbricata
— Echeveria ‘Topsy Turvy’
— Euphorbia ‘Snowflake’
— Stacked crassulas
— Agave lophantha ‘Quadricolor’
— Agave victoriae-reginae
— Agave parryi ‘Truncata’
— Aloe nobilis or any symmetrical red-orange aloe
I’ll keep you posted as it all comes together. In the meantime…The newly popular activity of coloring a detailed line drawing also reduces stress, and mandalas (which means “circle” in Hindu) are useful as meditation aids. You’ll find succulent mandalas plus line drawings of the plants shown above in my coloring book for adults, Sensational Succulents.