June 8 – To Rest Like a Tree – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all.” Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

It helps to remember this. Of course, it’s hard to remember this when feeling blame, loss, or sorrow. But that’s when we need this wisdom the most.

Like everyone, I’d rather not experience the undercurrents of life, but the challenge is not to shun them, but to accept that over a lifetime we will have our share of them.

Avoiding the difficult aspects of living only stunts our fullness. When we do this, we are like a tree that never fully opens to the sky. And dwelling on our difficulties only prevent them from going on their way. When we do this, we are like a great tree that nets the storm in its leaves.

The storm by its nature wants to move on, and the tree’s grace is that it has no hands. Our blessing and curse is to learn and relearn when to reach and hold, and when to put our hands in our pockets.

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