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When Happiness Came Visiting Through our Nature Table (NEW PICS!)

nature spirituality creativity kids waldorf study

Happiness, as I have understood in 2011, has 'happened' to me in the most unplanned moments. It eluded me completely when I most 'expected'. It came visiting when I least intended to invite. It stayed with me when I 'unintentionally' left the doors of my heart and soul open. But, it became a part of me when I realized that 'those' are the doors that I should always keep open.

That one whimsical step when I decided to bring out those stones, dried and pressed leaves, shells, pine-cones, feathers that I'd tucked away in drawers; between pages of books and in cardboard boxes – was the turning point of my relationship with 'happiness'. 

Yeah, it started with a simple idea – of having all those things that I love – in front of my eyes so I can admire them every now and then rather than put them away in dark hard-to-access corners . 

nature table singing bowl buddha kids art india

Piece by piece – our Nature Table took shape 

(Note: For those of you who are new here, I recommend you to visit the post above so you can also read about Waldorf Nature Tables, Singing Bowls, Buddhist Mantra for healing, Buddhism and more)

– Season 1 of our Nature Table / Spiritual Garden – from Autumn, 2011

This nature table could be my/our source of spiritual bliss, I thought. It made perfect sense to me to bring all those things together that inspire me, lend me peace and helps me connect with myself. So, our copper Buddha, our Singing Bowl, candles, incense, essential oil – Pari and I added all these elements to the nature table and saw it emerging as a temple of love, art and joy.

I had no religious intention for it. 'Nature' is my religion. Just because I am born Hindu and and am from an Eastern culture, I have natural inclination for certain things that are part of it – like incense, clay lamps, prayer bells, rice art etc. And, I have icons of a Buddha, a Ganesha, a Jesus Christ or a Chisti Baba on my 'spiritual table' because I associate them with kindness, knowledge, sacrifice and purity and not because they symbolize my religious 'belief'. 

nature table mommy labs spiritual meditation garden

I find my Nature Table Liberating 

It sets me free from any religious boundaries. And yet, it gives me an anchor for my soul – which, I have come to realize – is very essential for me; for my peace of mind. Without this spiritual anchor, I would be lost. This 'nature table' or 'meditation table', as we've started calling, has gone on to become the most profound, intentional and even disciplined way for our family to 'be' together – wrapped in a few pristine moments. 

It is now natural for the three of us – Pari, Avie and me – to sit together in the evening – for 10-15 minutes to light candles and incense here; clean any dust particles, rearrange some of the things or introduce any new 'find' from nature and just sit in 'vajrasana' or 'sukhasana' postures to pray together and play the singing bowl.

It has proven to be the most effective fulcrum for us. No matter what each of us is busy with, we leave it midway to be able to come together and spend some time before our nature table. And, when we chant, the house reverberates with the musical sound of it. Just 10 minutes of it – daily – re-energizes, reconnects and cleanses our mind and soul.

art with river stones nature table

It has also been a constant source of creativity 

It's almost been like a canvas for art. We keep adding seasonal elements to it from our nature walks. We keep moving about the existing elements. Last week, we added our season's flower pots and the Feng Shui bamboo plant (it was a gift). We've also added the Fall Leaves that we received from my blogger friend at Nurture Store – all the way from the U.K.; some leaves from the thick forests of the Jim Corbett National Park that my sis-in-law collected for us knowing how much we would cherish such a gift. And, a few other leaves and feathers from our recent nature walks. I've also been preserving the leaves of winter berries that we get here around this time. And, the two bamboo-like sticks that you see are actually sugar cane stems – all flavours of the season.

nature table singing bowl buddha meditation

This nature table will transform with every change in season. It is proving to be the best way to integrate art, nature and seasonal study!

Can there be any more reason for me to declare the post about our Nature Table/Spiritual Garden the best of 2011 here at Mommy Labs? :)

If this was not enough, my blog statistics from 2011 confirm it to be the most popular post among you – my lovely readers. And finally, just to add more glory, this post was featured on the most prestigious blogazines for art and creativity such as – Ohdeedoh.

With this reflection and renewed energy, I join these 75 brilliant mommy bloggers from my blogger community who are all sharing the best of 2011 from each of their blogs. Whoa – what an opportunity and platform to see some of the most creative and playful ideas that we can engage our kids in – in this new year. 

Check out the gallery below. And if you blog about kids' art/craft/learning – I invite you to link up the ONE best post of yours from 2011.

Happy New Year, friends. 

And, hey – one question!

What is the one moment/story/event/anecdote that brought pure happiness to you in 2011? 

Please share, for sharing means caring, connecting, receiving and spreading happiness. :)

I need help sustaining this blog…

Dear blog readers – It’s been exactly eight years now that I’ve been writing on this blog! Yes, eight long years and hundreds of articles. From art, creativity and learning; to food, health, gardening, travel, sustainable and mindful living, natural birth. In our un-schooling life, as we go on introspecting, questioning and evolving, I’ve strived to share our stories and experiences with as much honesty, care and sincerity as possible.

I spend hours writing an article – and often write and rewrite many times before it rings true to me and sounds worthy of your time to read.

The most important thing for me is to keep this blogging endeavour authentic and true to my values. This blog has been my sacred space to express, share, feel empowered and contribute. Hence, I do not like to support businesses that don’t align with my values. So far, I’ve rarely taken sponsorship from brands and companies. I haven’t placed any ads on my blog, though there have been multiple offers.

Infact, I’d like to keep this blog ad free unless something truly meaningful comes across.
Yet, there’s a cost to running this blog. The basic cost of keeping the domain alive, and hosting all this content on. I spend roughly INR 10,000 (USD 173) just to keep this blog up and running. So, I need to cover this cost. Plus, it’d be nice to bring in some income for our family of four. And, this is where I request your support.

If you find my articles and stories useful or inspiring at some level, please help me sustain. Starting from 1 dollar or 100 rupees to whatever you can, do consider donating for the content I share; for my intention and the time and effort I put. Your support will go a long way in keeping this blog (of 8+ years) sparkling with stories for many more years to come. Thank you, dear ones. I’ll value what you’ll gift with love and kindness. :-)

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mukherjeeshalini January 2, 2012, 8:08 am

    Happy New Year Pari and Rashmi …
    Wishing you both loads of happiness and many more superb ‘mommy lab’ moments for us to read about.. 

    • Rashmie Jaaju January 5, 2012, 10:54 am

      @ee72b00e23e6c2c2a90db59262f06aa4:disqus “Mommy Lab moments” – how sweet! I like that :)
      Wish you love, peace and bliss :)

  • Haripriya January 2, 2012, 10:47 am

    Such a unique idea :) I loved it. Appreciate your thinking Rashmie. Keep it up :)

    • Rashmie Jaaju January 5, 2012, 10:53 am

      @652a96285c7600894b2dee882945fe74:disqus Thank you, friend :) Glad you’re inspired by our nature table…

  • Rebekah Patel January 2, 2012, 2:26 pm

    Awesome best post!!!  It was definitely nature tables like your’s that fueled my desire to create one for our family.  We use our’s a bit differently, but, like your table, our nature table is a way of connecting with the beauty of the outdoors in our own home.  Happy New Year, Rashmie!!

    • Rashmie Jaaju January 5, 2012, 10:52 am

      @google-480808cad0197bc9ad682b1572119e4a:disqus Thank you, my dear. I had seen pics of your nature table and it was glowing with colours of the season dappled in sunlight… :)
      Happy New Year to you and yours :)

  • Ann January 3, 2012, 3:16 pm

    Just love your nature table!  We had a Waldorf inspired nature table last year and I am sorry it has reverted back to a book display but I think you have inspired me to start again and maybe go for a nature walk today!  Thanks!!!  

    Happiness – spending time together as a family brings me the most happiness (doesn’t happen very often because my husband works 2 jobs).  

    • Rashmie Jaaju January 5, 2012, 10:51 am

      @Anntrea:disqus It’ll be nice to give your nature table a fresh lease of life :) 
      I can understand how we moms look forward to the time when the hubbys are home so everyone can be together. Working two jobs is quite a stretch but I hope you are able to spend quality time together on weekends…
      Thank you, Ann, for being here :) I love a little chat with you… :)

  • maggy, red ted art January 4, 2012, 5:05 pm

    Really beautiful, I am not surprised it is one of your favourite posts!!!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


    • Rashmie Jaaju January 5, 2012, 10:47 am

      @95a54dbc1c8f5c3e303f9e7999adce52:disqus Thank you so much for your support :)

  • Jzin June 5, 2012, 3:04 am

    So lovely!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Patricia Torres June 11, 2012, 9:47 pm

    Rashmie.. Such a lovely post.. I never heard of Nature tables before.. so at first I was a bit surprised.. but then reading on.. I understand it more..

    And I so agree with.. how we keep the things we like.. in a box, in a closet locked away.. never to access it again.. *sigh*.. So true.. It should be kept right in front of us.. huuumm..

    Anyway… for today.. I’m passing on an award your way.. hoping you will accept this one.. and pass it on too…

    Thanks for sharing so many little bits of your life.. and enriching mine.. :)


  • elizabeth August 4, 2013, 6:32 pm

    Just love your spiritual garden table………
    I became silent inside………..

    warm greetings,

  • Stephanie Acosts February 27, 2017, 8:38 pm

    Absolutely love what yippy have done with the “nature table” and the peaceful energy it exudes. We do one at home but I want to get a table that is designated just for it. Can you give me an idea where I can get one like yours or the name of it so I can Google it. It’s perfect height for children to have an active interaction with. Any information would be greatly appreciated.