In the Plum Village Zen tradition, we recognize the importance of touching the healing and nourishing elements that are present. It’s easy to overlook the beautiful and focus instead on the single flaw ‘spoiling’ our view.
We have three practices designed to help us see this more complete picture: Flower Watering, Shining the Light, and Beginning Anew. In Flower Watering, we speak of the positive aspects we see in each other. Shining the Light builds on this by adding loving suggestions for improvements. And the Beginning Anew Ceremony helps keep interpersonal challenges from escalating by first watering good seeds in each other, then speaking honestly about how we have contributed to a conflict. This is sometimes followed by gently pointing out how the other person’s actions have impacted us, but by the time we’ve watered good seeds and owned our own behavior, it’s often not necessary to go further.
This week was our Sangha’s one year anniversary. We held a Flower Watering Ceremony to help us see more deeply into the beauty of our Sangha and its members. We served each other tea and enjoyed homemade treats, then shared how the Sangha is important to us. Many flowers were watered and we left feeling nourished and connected.
How lucky we are to have such a lovely Sangha!