Book Reviews

“The book’s photos themselves are meditation-worthy.”

Philadelphia Inquirer

In The Meditative Gardener Cheryl Wilfong reminds us gently and powerfully that gardening is a spiritual practice of mindful presence. Bringing the Buddha’s teachings to life, she presents a perspective that helps us wake up as we connect with the beauty of the natural world. Her practice has deep roots which have flowered into the wisdom and loving heart that she so generously shares.

James BarazFounding Teacher
Spirit Rock Meditation Center

The Meditative Gardener is a wonderful compendium of reflections on gardening and meditation. Cheryl Wilfong’s precise instructions about cultivating mindfulness in the garden and in one’s life will be of value to gardeners and meditators alike as well as anyone concerned with nature and spirituality.

Filled with beautiful photographs which uplift the mind, this book offers many gardening tips that will help one be more aware of one’s body and mind while at work.

With humility and humor, Cheryl Wilfong shares her knowledge and experience acquired over many years of dedicated practice both on the cushion and in the garden. She shows us how meditation and gardening alike can heal our troubles if we take the time to apply her wise and compassionate advice.

Martine Batchelor, Gardener
Meditation Teacher and Author
Meditation for Life and Let Go

I have been reading your book over the summer, and find it delightful. It is well-organized and attractive, making it easy to ingest, yet the teachings are profound and by no means superficial. I love the tone, which is humble, honest, and even humorous on the one hand, but at the same time is very wise, uncompromising, and authentic.

Andrew OlendzkiSenior Scholar
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

Cheryl Wilfong’s book is a warm, welcoming invitation to take one’s meditation practice into the garden. Its specific suggestions, accompanied by beautiful photographs, show the reader how meditation and gardening can thrive in the company of one another. The Meditative Gardener is practical, encouraging, and beautifully written.

Jan FrazierAuthor 
When Fear Falls Away: The Story of a Sudden Awakening

The Meditative Gardner is an exquisite and profound exploration of the Buddha’s teachings. Using gardening as the central metaphor, this visually pleasing and spiritually inspiring book moves the reader to realize how his or her life is a garden that needs to be cultivated with loving and mindful attention.

Matthew FlicksteinAuthor
Journey to the Center: A Meditation Workbook

” …A no-nonsense step-by-step guide to Zen gardening for the 21st century.”

Shinzen Young

This book is a delight for both the eyes and the heart. It serves as a reminder that we are continually given opportunities to be fully mindful and present no matter how humble the task.

Pamela ErdmannSenior Teacher
Center for Mindfulness
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Honorary Faculty
Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice
Institute of Medical and Social Research,
University of Wales, U.K.

This…fantastic book is a real gift to the Dharma. It’s so grounded, practical, and wise. Your Dharma teachings are refreshing, and the photos are a feast for the eyes. This is not just another Dharma book. You have shared your insights from years of the Dharma and gardening. You have created a luscious English garden for everyone to walk through and enjoy. What a wonderful read. May it prosper and affect the lives of many.

Amita Schmidt
Dharma Teacher, Spiritual Therapist, and Author
Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Spiritual Master

The Meditative Gardener, Cultivating Mindfulness of Body, Feelings and Mind, touches all the senses with the beauty of gentle, open presence.

The book invites the reader to listen deeply to the music in the garden of awareness available to us in every moment. Cheryl Wilfong’s book is permeated with love for the Dharma, waking up, and compassion. These pathways guide the reader into an experience of beauty, peace and presence, whether one enters through gardening or meditation or both. Deeply nourishing and satisfying to read and refer to.

Florence Meleo-Meyer, Senior Teacher
Stress Reduction Program
Director of Oasis, Professional Training and Innovation
Center for Mindfulness
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Just opening the pages of this beautifully designed and photographed book brings the heart rate down. Cheryl Wilfong moves us through an elegant garden of words and images from body to feelings to mind, with a host of meditations to feed the soul.

Julie Moir Messervy, Author
The Inward Garden and Home Outside

The deeper you get into the book, the more you recognize Wilfong’s deliberately tying the threads of a garden with the threads of meditation, her ultimate goal, a wisdom far beyond simple digging.
Read articleJody Headlee is a contributing columnist for The Oakland Press

Jody Headlee
The Oakland Press