Stillness, Softness, Progress

Meditations from a Beech Tree

I whisper so as not to disturb your talk.
The most gracious host.
The parents of a lineage of seers.
They are the wise.
The all-knowing, all-seeing, all-remembering.

We have a misconception that activity induces progress. That stillness can only represent a lack of development, a stagnation that is almost tantamount to taking a step backwards. Progress, progress... acquisition, development... progress. This is the mantra of the materialist. Chanted incessantly to us from birth. Recited over and over, louder and louder, to the point that the whisperings of the wise go unheard. Life under this dogma becomes a battleground. A never ending maze of hidden mines and the occasional reward, which is all too fleeting, but helps us develop a taste none the less. Much of our struggle is for fear of our disappearance. We are terrified by the possibility of being forgotten. Of becoming invisible. What can we leave behind? We must make an irrefutable mark. An undeniable plaquard of progress. The possibility of not being able to fulfil this self imposed task, fills us with a fear that haunts us through life.

But what if we looked at the trees? Source of so much. Centuries worth of stillness resulting in a greatness unimaginable to the materialist. What if we took our example from them? To stand tall and rooted deeply. To be firm in our convictions yet flexible to the winds that change our course. To be the witness, the listener, the shelter, and the dancer. To move softly and with grace. To live in a space of truthfulness and purity. Undisturbed by the comings and goings of other beings. Tolerent of those who seek to share our space. Unattached to the temporary structures that adorn our lives; yet grateful for their presence, while they last.  

Taking note from the trees. Those who have been here for generations. Those who watched the rising and falling of our ancestors. Who stood witness to war and disaster, to love and death, to joy and dispair. And to process each with an equiposed acceptance, seeing each as a rightful part of the whole. Seeing the beauty in the coming and the going. The stillness and the fluctuation. But to first and foremost be an entity of unwavering service and devotion.

So at the start of each new day,
May I sit and softly pray
That I may always strive to be
As gentle and as loving as the tree.

“One should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respects to others.”
Sri Śiksastakam, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu