“This holy relationship is what you are called to cultivate as a gardener cultivates her garden. The gardener knows that although the plant exists fully realized within its seed, it also needs the relationship of earth and water, light and air. The gardener knows that tending the garden will help it to flourish and show its abundance. The gardener knows she is part of the relationship that is the garden. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 12.10)”
Affirmation: “I will spend time tending my garden today.”
1 – Holy Relationship
The holy relationship is a relationship not only with others, but also with the Self. We reach inwardly and outwardly. And we tend what we find there. What exactly do we do?
2 – Meditative Work
There are ways that we can enhance our relationship to our Self as well as with our brothers and sisters. Earlier, Jesus mentioned meditation, yoga, affirmations as ways to grow in grace (though he did not use that term “grace”). Tending the garden is an ongoing process that in itself is meditative. Think of the gardener who loves the work of a physical garden. Do he/she not feel rejuvenated by the work that is done in the garden? It is the same here in the realm of the mind and heart, the wholeheartedness that Jesus has set forth. We do not struggle to tend. We just relax in the meditative expanse of our days.
3 – Ego
The ego would try to tend the plants without relationship (from ACOL). The ego would believe that relationship is not primary, and that the personal self is all that is important. When we are selfishly hung up on the ego, we are not mindful of our Self or of others. Sometimes someone will wonder if we actually “like” people, perhaps including ourselves. We may be so hung up on personal problems that we think that the only one we can care about is ourselves: It is enough just to keep ourselves going, and we can’t mind other people as well. They are seen as a distraction.
4 – Special Relationships
This set of mind, that relationship is unneeded and even impossible, given our state of mind, is just where the ego would have us be. The ego thinks that holy relationships, especially, are beside the point. The only relationship which the ego thinks of any benefit to the personal self is the special relationship. And we know where this leads. To pain and sometimes suffering.
5 – Special into Holy Relationships
But when we turn our special relationships into holy ones, we tend our garden in the process. This metaphor of the garden is particularly dear to the heart of Jesus, we must intuit. Later on, in the Dialogues of A Course of Love, he devotes a whole chapter to the concept. Here he is just getting started with the topic.
6 – Neurosis
Try to think today of ways that you can leave neurosis behind, and with neurosis, the ego. Try to become acquainted with the Self today. Leave time for others, for the holy relationships that we are developing with our brothers and sisters. The time of today will be well spent, and we will have followed Jesus’s advice to tend our garden.
I would tend my garden today, especially my relationship to my Self and my significant others. If others are stressed, I would remain calm, secure in the Self, leaving the ego behind. Help me especially to be patient today.
This day can go smoothly if I remember You. You are my Rock, my assurance that what I do with Your blessing will turn out alright.
Help me to think and to do with Your blessing today.