Trees of Awakening
I have a love affair with trees. I carve them into useful items (after asking permission). I play guitars crafted of various species sustainably sourced by a local company. My wandering in the forest surrounds me by living, growing, nurturing beings. The unmistakable ambience in an old growth area reveals towering ancient wisdom along with the musty smell of decaying previous generations. Beneath my feet a thriving community of fungus conspires to help trees live by breaking down the detritus into food for hungry roots. I always wonder why trees and mushrooms are technically non-sentient when they exude such a vibrant presence.
The scientific community now understands that trees communicate with each other through micro rhizomes of underground fungus. Through this network, when a tree experiences difficulty growing, other members of the community ‘hear’ its cries. They reduce their own water consumption and nutrient intake to make them more available to the struggling sapling. A community of trees mirror the best possible expression of livings beings supporting one another.
I think when Buddha awakened to his original nature, he sprouted roots and mingled with the fungus. He returned home to his natural condition as exemplified by the “earth touching gesture”. His hand touched the ground and she responded by saying the whole earth is witness to his awakening. I feel this story in my cells. Every fiber of my being seeks nurture in the inexpressible ground of awareness. I want to mingle inseparably with the earth and all the wisdom she offers.
When this momentary apparition called my body is no longer needed, whatever is left will perhaps help enrich the soil. Maybe I will become a mushroom community for the the benefit of all trees and all beings. Maybe I can become a metaphorical spore now, fostering the growth of many through Buddha’s roots. That is my prayer.