Symbolic Onions: A Tearful Meditation

Symbolic Onion Meditation
Symbolic Onion Meditation

I, like many others, think of “layers” when looking at onions in a symbolic light.  I also think of the yin-yang concept of harboring versus releasing. 

Harboring, because the onion can stay pristine for a miraculous length of time under the right conditions.  Releasing because the onion carries properties that expel toxins from the body.

Some quick adjectives for symbolic onions:

  • Multi-dimensional (many layers)
  • Pure potential (core seedling)
  • Staying power
  • Hibernating energy
  • Expectorant
  • Detoxing

This post on symbolic onions is prompted by a meditation provided by a dear friend of mine (Namasté Ann!). 

Every Monday night a group of like-minds gathers at Ann’s house for meditation and sharing.  The first Monday of the new year, Ann guided us to the symbolic onion.  The results of the meditation were cleansing, inspiring and full of promise.  I wonder what kind of experience you will have with this meditation:

Onion Meditation:

  • Prepare yourself as you normally would for a meditative journey.
  •  As you cross the bridge into non-local awareness, you encounter your guide for this trip. A bright-eyed, brown-skinned, kind-hearted man..a guru of untold magnitude wrapped in humble knowing.
  • He guides you to a heap of onions. And, sorry to say, it’s rotty and stinky mound of onions. 
  • The old man tells you to have a seat on a nearby stool, and start peeling the rancid onions.  “Peel the layers away.  Peel off the decay until you reach the tender green shoot of life in the core of the onion.” he says to gently to you.
  • You wish you had gloves…or at least a clothes pin for your nose…the stink is outrageous!
  • But, you do as the old guide says.
  • The sour onion layers are symbolic of the limitations, false beliefs, and roadblocks in your life.  You recognize this as you begin peeling.  What dirty work to strip away the strata of restrictions you’ve been harboring for so long (years in some cases).
  • As you work your way to the sweet baby green shoots in the center of the onions, you realize these bright babies are symbolic of the pure potential of YOU when you live in freedom – when you strip away all the decay of limitation and fear in your life.
  • You set aside each of these veridian gems of positive delight, and continue to strip away the rot from more onions.  Work on as many onions as there are difficulties or obstructions in your life.  
  • When you’re ready, gather the green sprouts of energy-surging promise and begin planting them in the richest, darkest soil you’ve ever encountered.   The soil is symbolic of faith and knowing that a life lived fearlessly will always render the richest rewards for you. 

This is a paraphrased and short version of my friend Ann’s meditation.   But, you get the idea.  You can expand & contract the meditation as your own essence requires.  

I can tell you my experience was tearful.  The onions made me teary-eyed, and the intoxicating feeling of releasing all that limitation while planting new spiritual growth prompted some of that weeping too.

Give this meditation a try, and let me know how it serves you.

Some other pages of interest:

Earth Symbolism

Nature Symbols

Flower Symbolism


7 Comments on “Symbolic Onions: A Tearful Meditation”

  1. The onion has so much more depth than people initially realize. It evokes tears for reasons people do not always understand. This reminds us we do so many things without being aware. We express feelings based on conditioning without exploring reasons beyond that. The meditation exercise you describe is a useful tool. Regardless of where people are, they can seek one out, create one or participate at a distance. The intention behind your effort matters. If you are conscious and deliberate, you will help yourself expand and grow.

  2. OH my gosh, we are so like onions. This is extreme appropriate. Every time I wrote about my experiences it’s like peeling the layers of an onion. And thank you so much for listing me on your side bar.


  3. I’ve actually been trying to sale in the affairs of meditation and AP but every time I try to clear my mind theres always a song stuck in my head or a situation from earlier that day/week that won’t leave. How do I rid myself of these distractions so I can effectively meditate?

    Your newest fan,

  4. This was a tearful meditation for me also but extremely helpful. Thankyou so much for sharing!

    God Bless

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