Are red roses, champagne and chocolates the basis of loving relationships?
In Plum Village mindfulness practice, we know that flowers are an important aspect of love. Those ‘flowers’ however, exist within ourselves and in others. As some of the first green shoots of spring are bravely coming out of the earth this is an ideal time to reflect and to ‘water the flowers’ of our loved ones.
Firstly, we can take a little time to become present. Then we can bring to mind both the recent actions and the caring, positive and loving aspects of our loved ones – their qualities that we appreciate – their ‘flowers’. It might be helpful to write them down. Maybe we will find small actions that mean a lot – welcoming smiles, offering a cup of tea and a hug after a hard day – as well as positive characteristics such as thoughtfulness.
Once we have identified the ‘flowers’ of our loved one/s the next step is to ‘water’ them. We do this by making an opportunity to speak to our loved one/s to tell them that we appreciate their ‘flowers’ – we can also write a card for them to keep. When we water someone’s flowers with our wholehearted appreciation it will last for so much longer than red roses, champagne or chocolate. The practice of ‘watering flowers’ provides a strong foundation for loving relationships.
Vari McLuskie – True Action of Loving Kindness
“Every child is born in the garden of humanity as a flower. Each flower differs from every other flower. There are many messages in our society that tell us, even when we’re young people, that there’s something wrong with us and that if we just buy the right product, or look a certain way, or have the right partner, that will fix it. As grown-ups, we can remind young people that they’re already beautiful as they are; they don’t have to be someone else.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh