Fungus Among Us

Little beige caps are popping up in our lawn. Arising here and there, the mushrooms have a random sense of appearance. I always smile at this annual event because I know what I see on the surface is but a fraction of the fungus below. Microcilia, fine tendrils of mycological material, interconnect each mushroom in harmonious communication. Their appearance indicates healthy soil, a balance of growth and decay.

Research has indicated this underground network of fungus provides a way for growing things to communicate. In a forest, trees use the microcilia to talk with each other. Parent trees talk to their kids. Grandparent trees are respected elders passing on their wisdom. Trees scream into the network when they are harmed. So yay!, mushrooms are growing in our yard.

Maybe we humans could learn to care for each other in the way trees and fungus experience a compassionate symbiosis. Buddha’s awakening is precisely this awareness of interconnection, but our digital disconnect from the earth removes us from the deep listening our original buddha nature. We have lost our visceral memory of the microcilia linking us to all living things. We have lost the ability to see beauty everywhere.

May all beings remember to walk in beauty and view the fungus of decay as a reminder of impermanence and interconnection.

You may also like...