A Tree in the Forest - Ajahn Chah
"We can learn the Dhamma from trees. A tree is born due to a cause and it, grows following the course of nature until it buds, flowers and bears fruit. Right here the tree is discoursing Dhamma to us, but we don’t understand this. We’re unable to bring it within and contemplate, so we don’t know that the tree is teaching us Dhamma. The fruit appears and we merely eat it without investigating: sweet, sour or bitter, it’s the nature of the fruit. And this is the Dhamma, the teaching of the fruit. Then the leaves grow old, They wither, die and fall from the tree. All we see is that the leaves have fallen down. We step on them, we sweep them up, that’s all. We don’t know that nature is teaching us. Later on new leaves sprout, and we merely see that, without taking it further. This is not the truth that is known through internal reflections.
If we can bring all this inward and investigate it, we will see that the birth of a tree and our own birth are no different. This body of ours is born and exists, dependent on conditions, on the elements of earth, water, and fire. Every part of the body changes according to its nature. It’s no different from the tree. Hair, nails, teeth and skin, all change. If we know the things o nature, then we will know ourselves”
This is a tree stump in a trail on Heritage Mountain Boulevard. In July 2012 i started taking pictures of it any time that i walked the trail. If you can recall a moment when you have stopped in your tracks to take a closer look. And suddenly the surroundings seem more real then anything else. Vision seems heightened. And every detail of the scene is all flowing into the senses and it all appears vivid. When i look at this tree that scenario happens to me. Kind of a magical feeling. I call it the tree of Desire.