Autumn in the desert is missed by many people because the color palette is more subtle than the vibrant orange and red of moister deciduous forests. For us desert rats, however, we revel in the expanses of gray-green sage and yellow-gold seed heads ornamenting arid country plants. On this unseasonably warm summer day, I sit on a lichen encrusted rock and gaze across the dusty brittle landscape of the high desert in early fall.
The vista before me makes me chuckle as I think about “forest bathing,” one version of nature therapy currently available. It is humorous to me that a person would pay someone else to help them sit in the forest to experience the benefit of the natural world surrounding them. I guess I am ‘desert bathing’ on my own. Maybe I should develop it into a therapy. Probably not. It would be like charging someone for the sky.
I wonder about this when offering the priceless Dharma. We never require payment for center events but we receive donations due to the good hearts of those attending. I suppose what we offer is of some benefit and contributions allow us to exist as a venue for Dharma teachings which, ironically, might encourage a person to do a little forest or desert bathing on their own. I think the sky is laughing.