In our mindfulness tradition we have a practice called Flower Watering. There are different ways in which it can be done but it basically involves telling others all of the good things you appreciate and like about them and allowing them to do the same with you. Yesterday we had one of our Montana Open Way Sangha board meetings. Our board members come from three different areas around western Montana and we meet to talk about local retreats, days of mindfulness, and other sangha related business. Our meetings tend to be an all day event, since we don’t meet very often. Each of our local sanghas also has their own council meetings regularly but our state wide board only meets 2-3 times a year. Yesterday, to close our board meeting, our final agenda item was to do Flower Watering. We had never done it before together as a board and it was just wonderful.
We had a vase of flowers and it was set in front of someone to start, which happened to be me. We were a circle of 8 and one by one people offered me their words of appreciation and other thoughts of honoring and love. We then passed the vase around and continued the process which each person. It took us quite a while to go through everyone but the spirit that was generated and held was so sweet that the time passed by rather effortlessly. It was a lovely way to end our board meeting and while I was quite tired at the end of the day I was also refreshed from the Flower Watering.
I was a little surprised with how challenging it was to hear others speak so highly and beautifully of me. Others also commented about how easy it was to offer flower watering for others but difficult to hear it for themselves. When I got home and told my husband about it he mentioned that in his mens group they regularly do something similar in their circles. They cal it a Blessings round. He also said that sometimes they’ll also add that each man has to bless himself as well, or water his own flowers – I thought that was both a really good idea and sounded even harder to do :)
I enjoyed the process so much that I suggested to my husband that we do it together as a couple and also as a family with our 15 year old son Jaden. I can see Flower Watering with our Be Here Now Sangha council and with my mom and step-dad when they come here for the summer. The possibilities are endless! While I consider myself fairly expressive when it comes to telling my loved ones how I feel about them there’s something different about creating the space especially for Flower Watering. To set up a circle with the intent purpose of telling others what about them you appreciate and why is a great practice and gift for all involved. I highly encourage everyone to partake in this wonderful practice!
Happy Flower Watering (and remember to water your own flowers too)!