-Alfred Lord Tennyson
|Typical Balinese Offering at Restaurant|
On a trip to Bali two years ago, I was struck by the reverence people had for flowers. It is said the Balinese grow flowers first and than food. The flowers are used in daily offerings to God in their homes, businesses and places of social gatherings. You will find fresh flowers on the ground near the entrance of communities. Travelers take it upon themselves each day to place fresh flowers from their gardens at busy intersections to thank God for keeping the road safe.
Since I began this journey in Being More Childlike, the spiritual significance of flowers keeps popping up again and again in colorful ways in my studies. In the Eckhart Tolle book, A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life's Purpose. Tolle tells the story how Jesus instructed his followers to contemplate flowers to learn how to live. Buddha delivered a "silent sermon" where he did nothing but stand quietly in front of monks and studied a flower. That realization of the meaning of that sermon is the basis for Zen. The mystic Basho describes Zen as recognizing the uniqueness and beauty in the the weed-like"nazunia" flower growing by the thousands on the side of the road.
The Indian mystic Osho likens intelligent people to flowers because they are enlightened beings. Osho also describes intuition like a mystic rose that can only open when you stop relying on intellect. In a remote village in the Sonoran desert of Mexico, there is a native tribe that speak an endangered language called Seri. The Seris have an expression that means "everyone has a flower inside them and that flower is their word". Even 19th century English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson tried to understand the essence of his own flowering word.
Looking back, when my son was 3, he used to pick a flower every day from our bushes and give to me on our way to school. He was quite disappointed when I tore out the hedge in a landscaping project because he had no source anymore. Two months ago, my daughter described a dream to me and said she saw me drinking honey from roses and flying with bumble bees. A lovely thought, but I didn't read much into it. Than a few weeks ago, there was some discord on our home. I was down. Out of the blue, my daughter insisted that we buy sunflowers. She reminded me again at the grocery store. Again, I didn't think much of it. Until this week, when I came across a special book.
I was researching angels for this month's blog focus on faith. There is an author named Doreen Virtue, who is considered a leading expert on the topic of angels. Among her many books, Reeves co-wrote a book called Flower Therapy, Welcome the Angels of Nature Into Your Life. Reeves has researched the energetic properties of dozens of varieties of flowers. Magnolias can clear pollutants. Lotus' bring wisdom. Lavender soothes nerves. Here is some of what the book says about sunflowers:
Sunflowers exude joy. The dark center and colorful petals represent bringing the light out of the darkness. Recognize the beauty in the sunflower and remember how wonderful it feels to be happy. The sunflower will help you enjoy each day to the fullest and be happy with yourself and come to terms with every aspect of who you are.
Come to think of it, sunflowers are one of those rare plants that actually move each day to follow the Sun. The definition makes sense. If you follow your own light the way a sunflower follows the sun, you will find joy. If you have ever wondered why you are drawn to certain flowers or want to learn more about the meaning of giving certain flowers, Flower Therapy is a great resource with an extensive directory.
For this week's Time Travel Tuesday, we planted flowers. candy cane striped petunias, which bring joy and laughter to your home. We also planted poinsettias, which guide you on your path. Poinsettas are supposed to be enjoyed at the end of the year to re-center yourself before beginning a new year and embracing new opportunities. On the way to the nursery and through out the day, I kept noticing dandelion blooms floating by in odd places. According to the book, the snowball white dandelion seeds are known for making dreams come true. The seeds floating through the air are angels carrying your wishes to exactly where they need to go to take root and manifest.
What do flowers mean to you?