Monday, June 23, 2008

The Ecstasy of Trees

(On the incredibly innocent beauty of Being…)


A tree bright broad and shimmering,
pudged wide with thoughts tree slothly slow,
gnarled feet of brown, specked head of blue,
splash what’s quickly quaint and true
that shakes to mold a meek man free,
who drinks with mouthing cell the milk
of Life that squirts like windy silk.

How do we know that trees are not aware of the wind shimmering them, shaking and shivering their delicate twigs, their laughing leaves?
How do we know that they are not ecstatic and happy when the lightest breeze caresses them, or a bird sings in their limbs?

Trees are, like all things, made entirely of energy. And trees are aware. There is a self-regulating communication existent within every living organism. Trees are composed of energy fields existent within living awareness. Isn’t it wholly possible then that the wind-roused trembling of tree leaves and twigs, the spontaneous shaking of branches is an ecstatic thing in the same way that the human body, when fully alive and delicately caressed, trembles in ecstasy?

We have perceived life through the veils of our own desensitized sensitivities, afraid to be too wide open, to be fully sensitive and aware, afraid of “too much pleasure” that might embarrass us, or worse, make us vulnerable to the cynical, pain-sourced scorn of others. How strange to be embarrassed about being too happy, too pleasure-filled.

Is it actually more accurate to perceive life through abstract mental thought ruminations than directly through our capacity for fully alive and awakened sensitivities? That we are capable of perceiving Life through super alive and purified sense conveyance is fantastically true. But most of us are not experiencing Life this wide open and joyous way: rather we gaze through dense sensory filters meant to restrict bodily (and soul) pleasure as we listen to the chatter of habitual mental recollections about the little we perceive and call this an accurate experience of what is real. Are we sure? Are we willing to bet our blooming lives that this is an accurate perception of reality?

Why do most people have a sense that something big and important is missing from their lives? The marketers take advantage of this and convince our mind through repetition (until it seems familiar and thus true) that what is missing is this product or that. But what if what our deep soul longs for is a primal state of being super alive, open, sensitive, clean, clear, whole, harmonious, full of wonder, inspired by Love? What if we are instinctively longing to be ecstatically joyful, creatively imaginative, and peacefully attuned to the beauty and mystery of what we thought we understood but have not ever really known?

Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy … at the coming of the Lord.
(from Psalms)

This Universe is stranger than we can conceive. Quantum physics has been pointing to it, but the ramifications have yet to pierce through our mental veils of social conditioning. The facts of Life point to this: that the Universe is reflecting our own state of mind back to us, and that if our perception radically changed, Life would respond in kind. For example, if we began to perceive trees as unique beings, who (though their rate of perception is on a vastly different frequency than ours), are capable of a range of fluctuating energy qualities — everything from what we, in human terms, would call sadness to ecstatic joy — trees would come alive to us in new ways. It would be as if they (and we) were awakened from a deep drowse, a solemn sleep. Not that trees would become cartoon caricatures of themselves, popping open their newly found eyes and suddenly smiling, but rather we would sense the poignant mood of the trees and how the silent conveyance of energy qualities has always been the primal language of God’s countless creatures.


Today, the trees seem ecstatically happy.
Perhaps it is as the psalmist foretold —
they are clapping, they are swaying,
they shimmy and clang!
They feel God…
If they could pull up their roots
they’d dance on them — I’m sure of it!
because when I feel God —
all fresh and lissome,
frolicking in green —
my spirit shimmies, like those trees,
in an inspirational breath,
and I want to dance from the essential urge
bursting from my core!
To throw back my head and howl,
like those trees surge back:
clattering and trembling,
ecstatic and shimmering,
rattling with sky in the wind!

It is a shocking and stunning, fun and far reaching reality that if our perception changes, Life responds. What a mind-blow to discover and become! Even now, right as we are, the wisdom that is inherent in each tree’s way of being can be conveyed to us through a kind of inherent intuition we might call telepathic knowing. And this open-hearted knowing is a true communion. Simply stand before a tree and breathe slowly, deeply, with the intention to move from mind veil to pure, open sensation. See the tree as if you have never seen a tree before. Pretend you have just been dropped on this planet from a place where there are no trees. Caress it with your eyes. See this astonishment emergent from earth: feel through the air with your skin until a state of wonder comes upon you. At some point, if you are ready, you will shift from mind filter to pure energy awareness and experience the tree itself, unfiltered, fresh, alive and real.


The trees draw Life from the earth
up their patient centers,
slowly up their majestic wooden bodies,
from earth, from dark roots, from the wet
and fecund, from the dampness and rottenness
of sweet mother earth, slowly rising,
each tree, slowly ecstatic in the rise of Life,
slowly drawing upward their juice,
their wet ooze into air,
into wind, and freshness, into Light,
into bird song and freedom,
into God.

See what just one tree has to teach you about patience, perseverance, generous self-giving, gentleness — and maybe even ecstasy. We can perceive their symbolic meaning and messages as well, even as we more deeply enjoy their energetic presence and company, And why not thank them for their long history of partnership with mankind: turning the poisons we exhale into life-giving oxygen, meeting so many of our shelter, food, heating and art-making needs.

We can wake up right now, if we want to enough to act on the potential these words convey, and experience for ourselves the language of trees, sense their vital energy and even current moods. Just be very quiet, and feel. Don’t be afraid to sense life directly, to move beyond the conditioned filters of your mind. You can do it because you are human and have wired right inside of you God-given sensitivities and capacities to be fully alive. So alive that you just must overflow with the blessing to others, and inspire as you are being inspired.

Why not be inspired and thus be an inspiration? Why not be blessed and thus be a blessing? Why not bless those you love with your celebration of awakening? And why not bless the trees with your hands and heart even as they bless you with their branches and leaves?

What if on the next windy day you felt a subtle thrill pass through your soul, body and bones because you were happy and child-like enough to accept the freely wild and waving ecstasy of trees? What if you were fully and freely alive?


Trees gift a shimmering voice
to the free blow of wind.
From rough roots dark water oozes,
flooding thickened trunks
branches, twigs and stems,
bleeding flat to brighten
translucent leaves.
And as wind-blown twigs tremble
leaves shimmy and clatter
spewing oxygen bursting
mist into free air
freshening sky-birthed breath
to soak into bodily cells,
until your brain dimples and dazzles
with laughing bright Light of Life.

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