Search This Blog


Buddhism in the News


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We Can Learn a lot from Trees

We can learn a lot from trees. I am watching our neighbors giant cotton wood trees sway and bend in a strong breeze. Trees are made to move along with resistance. Everything about a tree can bend from the trunk to the branches, to the stem and finally to the leaves. They do not fight change for if they did they would no survive. They bend but do not break.

Often when change blows into our lives we feel shaken and think that if we bend then we will break. However, if we anchor ourselves in deep, grounding things such as our mindfulness practice then we can have faith that we will be able to weather any storm for we have strong roots, a strong foundation. Our roots go deeper and grow stronger each time we meditate, practice mindfulness, practice loving-kindness and compassion (not only with others but toward ourselves as well).

We can have faith that we too can bend but not break.

In fact, it is the very resistance and change of the wind that carries the seeds of life for the trees and plants. And so it is with us. Change brings new life, new hope and strength for future storms to come. Without resistance, change and yes, suffering itself we would grow steadily weaker and weaker until our deep, strong roots would rot and we would break.

~Peace to all beings~

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Belly said...

When camping with the weeone one of our favorite things to do is lay down and look up into the trees, which stand 100feet or more, and just watch them sway. We had long conversations about how they each had their own rhythm, their own dance, their own sound - it was truly mesmorizing. Trees have always been a symbol of strength for me. Strength and flexibility.

rama said...

Have you read the (Buddhist) Jataka tale, about a forest tree (one of the earlier lives of the Buddha) that was witness to the cruelties of a crane?! So much to learn from trees... I cannot forget the giant Savarro cactus (in the Sonoran desert, USA). It takes many decades to grow to full size, bloated up with water, and then it crashes, a major life-giving event in that micro-environment. I've also often wondered about the friendship of ancient trees...Many Thanks! Best, rama

"James" said...


What beautiful memories. I too find great strength in trees (and plants). I can hear them if that makes sense. They have a low vibration but it is very strong and stable.


Yes, I have. The Savarro cactus sounds beautiful indeed and the fact that it provides life with it's death is beautiful as well. I love to hug trees. I'm a full blown tree hugger lol.

theycallmemac said...

Hey, it's funny that you posted about trees because just yesterday I was having my own insights into the beauty of trees. How they are living and breathing and provide us with so many necessary components. I also had marvelled at their flexibility and how they stand so tall with their wonderful green leaves soaking in sun and air. Driving past hundreds of trees yesterday they began to all look like one with the earth, sort of veins or organs of the earth. And then I got the idea that maybe trees are much further towards enlightenment than most people, maybe they understand emptiness better and I felt somewhat humbled by these wondeful beings.

dragonflyfilly said...

*sign* true! i came over to your blog to ask for help, and here it is, in the trees, kool! ... i was going to ask you this: who do people think that washing dishes, rowing boats, and other "distractions" is the same as meditation?

yesterday i walked to Super Store with my daughter, we walked through what she called, "a little forrest", i said, "this is not a forest, it's a 'copse', she said people don't know what a copse is. And today when i drove home from her place i was surrounded on both sides by huge evergreens, shading me from the beastly hot sun of the day....we are so blessed, thank the gods for the trees, yes!

dragonflyfilly said...

not "who do people", rather i meant, "why"...

"James" said...

I am humbled by them as well. I like to see them as Earth's lungs. :)


I see it as meditation because during these activities we are focused on that activity alone. We are mindful of that one thing. We aren't trying to do a million things at once. We are washing dishes to wash dishes, etc.

ShareThis Option