Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Practicing Tai Chi in the Garden

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Think: calm. Think: flexibility. Think: steady breathing. Think about energy flowing through you, around you, within you. Think about connecting your feet to the earth and your hands with the cosmos. Think about the ancient practice of Tai Chi. Now think about practicing Tai Chi in your contemplative garden space.

Tai Chi is a mainstay of class listings at many botanical gardens, but you don’t have to have a grand or professionally landscaped space to reap the benefits of this ancient Chinese contemplative practice.

Tai Chi is often called “meditation in motion.” The mind-body connection and flow of energy remains consistent throughout the practice. The energy is called “Qi,” (pronounced “chee”), and is made up of two different qualities: Yin (solid, dark, cold, passive) and Yang (light, warm, active). The concept of yin and yang—two opposites working together, or soft movements overcoming hard movements—is central to the practice of Tai Chi. Movements are geared toward absorbing and transferring energy. Tai Chi is a whole body spiritual practice that melds the two parts of Qi, the Yin and the Yang together.

The exchange of energy between internal and external forces is amplified when you practice Tai Chi in the garden, as opposed to doing so in an empty room. When you practice Tai Chi in the garden, you’re also adding another dimension—connecting with mother nature and the living beings that surround you. In the garden, the sights, smells, sounds, and gentle touches of a passing breeze or plant waving in the wind remind you that there are other energies coming into contact with your own. As you calmly proceed through the Tai Chi movements, you practice the art of responding to energy directed your way, and allowing it to flow around you. Sounds like a good skill for life, right?


The Ninfa Garden – A Roman Enchantment

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Springtime in Italy is everything you would imagine it to be: breezy, sunny, filled with fun and joy. Strolling through the Ninfa Gardens, dubbed as the “Most Romantic Gardens in the World” was the cherry on top of my travel sundae. There are no words to describe the breathtaking beauty of this enchanted garden oozing with sacredness and stillness.

The Ninfa gardens are internationally renowned and situated in the province of Lazio, seventy-five miles southeast of Rome and 15 miles from the sea. The name Ninfa comes from a little temple built near the water and dedicated to the Roman nymph goddesses. The present-day gardens were created in the 1920’s around the ruins of a medieval city called Ninfa. The town was built in the eighth century at the foot of a mountain next to a lake with abundant and pure spring-fed water. The town was destroyed in 1381 as a result of a religious feud with a neighboring town. Today the luxuriant gardens are supported and protected by a private family foundation. The result is a blend of the cultivated and the wild, of the romantic and the rational, and above all, the lasting sensation of the mysterious and the sacred.

Enjoy a contemplative moment to browse the beauty of the Gardens Ninfa.

international contemplative garden association national speakers associationassociation for garden communicators