Tuesday, August 13, 2013

They Call This "Tree."


“You see what you expect to see, Severus.”~   J.K. Rowling

A dear friend approached me this morning, and in just the slightest state of unsettledness.

You see, someone she had entrusted to act with great care ~ fell short, and left her feeling this great sense of disappointment and sadness.

"I know we are all imperfect..." she shared, "but...I see so much hypocrisy. Sometimes I wish I didn't see."

This is what I shared with her, and for some reason that I do not dare to question...I feel most compelled to share it here with you.

Perhaps, my words will be of comfort to you, as well.

Much love, my most beautiful (and fabulously imperfect) friends...and may we never again see a great Elm as "tree."

"My most beautiful friend...

It's interesting, I was thinking of just this on my way into my first appointment of the day. And yes, we are all magnificently imperfect...gobs of lovely lighted beings...but, I think sometimes we suffer from this thing we call 'labels' And when our understanding and/or expectation of that label has just slightly shifted... it serves as a shock to our system.

You know, there is this most wonderful story... from Buddhist Monk,  Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. I think it is perhaps most suited to this particular experience.

The story is as follows:

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche  sat in the gardens with his master, and admiring a great elm tree that stood before them. The elm was of such size and stature, that it towered high above them and provided them with the most comforting of shadows. In the farthest branches, a squirrel paused between branches and curious to know his 'admirers' below. And how the sun's light broke free of this great Elm's leaves ~ to create this pattern that danced below. And as  Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche closed his eyes, and breathed in the magnificence of this Elm before him... he smiled, and turned to his mentor to say,

"They call this tree..."

To which, they both burst into laughter.

The story is intended for us to consider ~ the true nature of that which is before us, and that this miracle of life is too great to be limited to the constructs of just one word.

The moment that we attach a name to "the Elm before us" ~ we immediately limit it. The truth of the matter is this Elm is the source for comforting shade... a refuge for squirrel...and, the artistry of the light dancing in patterns below. It is all of these things at once, and yet, we insist on seeing it only as "tree."

My dear, I know I am rambling, but there *is* a point here, I assure you ~ that is, your Yoga teacher is much more than what appeared in that moment...and you must remind yourself of the true nature of his being.

Pema Chodron has a most wonderful suggestion, that we might look onto this world...not as 'noun,' but rather as 'verb'... perhaps, in this way we can be open to the vastness of what is human.

I don't believe this person intended to harm... I suspect, he/she... like all others was simply expressing the greater depths of their human spirit. And in that moment, you were able to see the greatness of Elm through the limitations of tree.

Embrace this...and all those other moments that bring us one step closer to a heart that is fully awakened."