You are a houseplant.
This should be the starting point of every spiritual conversation, or the first thing one learns in life. Everything else comes after this.
Yes, you are a houseplant. You grow out of a seed, then blossom into youth by feeding on the mother earth, and eventually get dissolved in the same place you came from. Along the way you trade everything that you have (the atoms of your body, the breath, the happiness, the sorrows, and much more) with your surroundings — you take some, you give some. That is all there is to life, isn’t it?
You are a houseplant. Your ancestors grew and spread somewhere in the wild, until they got caught in the trap of civilisation and lost memory of their roots. Then, generations later, inside the comforts of these four walls, you were born. You stayed away from the wilderness and thus acquired certain mannerisms; you are soft and gentle and kind. You also have the time on your hands to contemplate the depths of your own existence.
You are a houseplant — but you are not an ordinary one. You are a houseplant that can walk, talk, drink coffee and read this text, with a thousand other things in your mind and a smile on your face. This means that you are a houseplant with some extraordinary powers.
But…as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. And so you have to look after yourself.
Where do I start, you might ask?
You start by assuming that you are a houseplant — a complicated one, but still a houseplant. So you start with some water. Then some sunshine. Not too much, just a little. Go slowly and mindfully, starting with your breaths and movements and diet, and then pretty much with everything that you do.
Often our priorities go in the opposite direction. That’s why we suffer. We don’t believe that we are houseplants, but some giant trees in a forest that can endure anything that comes their way. In reality, we can’t. Once upon a time, we used to be that, but not anymore. Now, we are houseplants. So let’s keep it that way and take a deep breath.