Do you like plants? Are you interested in self-embetterment or trying new tools for your spiritual practice? If yes — this one’s for you!
Nurturing houseplants can bring beauty to your home, serotonin to your brain, and now provide a spiritual self-care practice.
Last season I named my new houseplants after energies, traits, and intentions I wanted to cultivate, and I use the ritual of watering them to reflect/pray about how I can bring those intentions and traits into my day. I love this ritual!
Kavanah כַּוָנָה is one of the most powerful gifts we have as humans. This word can be interpreted as intention, direction of the heart, attention-choosing, etc. As you’ll see in this ritual, the plants in your life can actually support you in developing greater kavanah.
Kavanah Plants is the practice of nurturing houseplants with intention. As you go about your regular watering, you can “habit-stack” to cultivate a personal prayer and/or manifestation practice. This practice can inspire us and regularly align us back to the path we want to be on from a soul-level, and step closer to the goals that mean the most to us.
This month we begin the annual tradition of Counting the Omer, which can serve as great inspiration for naming your Kavanah Plants.
Counting the Omer originated as a strategy to mark the ancient barley harvest, and the mystics have since evolved it into an opportunity for holistic reflection, an accounting of the self. Within the 49 days of the Omer, the seven sefirot (divine characteristics) from the mystic Tree of Life are each paired together. The invitation of this tradition is to explore daily reflection prompts based on the day’s pair of spiritual themes. The sefirot include:
Do any of these themes stand out to you? This may be relevant for naming your Kavanah Plant.
If you’d like specific guidelines on adopting the Kavanah Plant practice, the invitation is to:
1. Reflect on what traits or energy we want to bring into our life. Reflection questions to brainstorm may include:
2. Choose a plant that sparks joy, and name it with your selected intention. For example, one of my larger plants is named “Gevurah” because one intention I’m attuning myself to is practicing creating healthy boundaries. I have other plants named Joy and Tiferet (Harmony/Balance) because I like cultivating those energies in my life. Feel free to be creative with whatever feels aligned and energetic for you.
3. When you water that plant, habit-stack by utilizing that opportunity to hold a moment of reflection about how you can actively bring that intention to life in your orbit, and visualize what your life may look like with that trait or energy in stronger presence. This may look like having a “fireside chat” with your Higher Power, a brief meditation, or unscripted prayer, however that looks for you. Feel free to add song or movement if that feels good.
At The Well uplifts many approaches to Jewish practice. Our community draws on ancient Jewish wisdom, sometimes adapting longstanding practices to more deeply support the well-being of women and nonbinary people. See this article’s sources below. We believe Torah (sacred teachings) are always unfolding to help answer the needs of the present moment.
Kavanah, My Jewish Learning
Counting the Omer, Chabad
Habit Stacking, Well + Good