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We spend so much time in our yard, it’s made us wonder why we shouldn’t be blissed out at the same time. A new guide, Shamanic Gardening, illustrates how to turn your outdoor space into a mini-spiritual retreat using elements of fêng shui, Native American shamanism, Asian design and sustainable planting techniques. It’s written by Melinda Joy Miller, a longtime healing practitioner who, along with her Angeleno daughter, Kim Colwell, runs the Shambhalla Institute, an eco-lifestyle advisory. The book’s full of pointers including little improvements and major overhauls:

Use the Four Elements These shamanic rituals stimulate intuitive insight: Create a ritualistic circle of stones (earth), burn sage to clear bug-infested plants (fire), hang a wind chime to bring healing chi (air) and install a birdbath (water).

Plant Edibles Even a small window box of strawberries or a pot of herbs reconnects us with nature as we stop to water, pinch dead growth and harvest.

State Your Intention Honoring the changing seasons is a way to stay grounded, attuned and focused. Miller urges readers to hold a small ceremony in which participants write a gardening or personal goal for the coming quarter on two sheets of paper (one to keep, one to burn in the ceremony).

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