Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How to HUG a Buddhist Tree (sutra)

Ananda M. (Dharma Meditation Initiative), Dhr. Seven, Jen B., CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly
Imagine a tree so tall we need to invent equipment to climb it and all our friends to hug it.
It's true! The kundalini energy is tingles. Buddhist meditation is better under trees!
California has the best, oldest (bristlecone), and tallest (redwood) trees in the world.
1. If you would hug a tree, do it slowly, softly, with friendliness, full of altruistic kindness the Buddha called metta. Trees are very sensitive, remarkably sensitive, more than most humans will ever know.

Roots of trees are best for meditating.
(Ask Maitreyi, who will be at Shakti Fest-Bhakti Fest in Joshua Tree, California, in May of 2018 or consult the scientific research in The Secret Lives of Plants).
Why did the ascetic Siddhartha retire to various groves of trees in his quest for enlightenment and even after his great awakening? There was the banyan tree grove where he gave up penances and self-starvation, where the maiden Sujata offered him solid food. 

The bodhi tree still lives in Bodhgaya, India
There was the bodhi tree grove (bodh gaya), where he became enlightened. There was the grove of trees in the Deer Park, where he gave his first discourse.

There was the bamboo grove (Veluvana) where he found cool shade and took up residence. There were the mango groves (like the one the courtesan Ambapali donated to the Buddha) he stayed at on the outskirts when visiting big cities.

Could some energy emerge from the ground to feed the tree and his own spine, or fruit to gather without getting up (like the nutritious figs of the pipal tree, Ficus religiosa, the bodhi tree that are said to contain a chemical quite like an entheogen)?

Veneration of a sacred grove of trees in India
2. Ask permission to warn the tree and/or any "spirit" (dryad, bhumi deva, woodland fairy) residing in or above it. Trees serve as wonderful homes to the fairies or elementals.

This does not mean that trees have "souls" or "spirits" but rather that devas frequently take up residence in some old, special, or tall trees. There is a long history of veneration of such trees and sacred groves of trees.

3. Then slowly approach, embrace, open your heart, clear your head, and hold on out of loving compassion. You may then feel the bounce back of energy. What we put out into the world comes back to us in manifold ways, exponentially grown all out of proportion to our action (karma). It is not "cause and effect" (which states that the effect will be the equal and opposite force of the cause). It will be like one oak seed or acorn giving rise to a giant tree and countless acorns. Thank the tree, and go in peace. The tree will remember you.

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