Zen Spot #118 — Mindfulness, meditation and a smiling tree February 9, 2018 00:05

Nature is not happy

We see in nature what we want to see — and we feel what we want to feel. The warmth of the sun elicits common responses, as does the rain, wind and snow. But the intrinsic value of nature is simple existence .

Nature is not unhappy

Birth, disease, thriving, suffering, being eaten, decay. Lifetimes as short as two days and others lasting more than two hundred years. Fruit flies and redwoods. Cheetahs and gazelles. 

Walking by

I’d walked by the tree in the photograph above dozens of times, never paying attention. On a recent sunny day, however, I spontaneously stopped in my tracks, adjacent to its joy. In doing so, it’s smile was as plain to me as the smile on my own face. Some friends have seen it immediately when shown the picture. Others don’t see it at all.

Sitting down next to a smile

The sun was warm, but the smile was in shadow. Having made a new friend, and needing to rest, I dropped to the ground and leaned against the far side of the tree, happy that it was sharing it’s joy with me. Or, perhaps I was sharing my joy with it. Or, perhaps, there was no joy at all.

Just being and not being.


About DharmaMechanic

An artist, entrepreneur and writer walking the Buddhist path, his art focuses on the Dharma Wheel. The four wheels shown above are among over 600 DharmaMechanic has created over the course of his career. Each has a unique story. If you’d like to read the story of these wheels or purchase a framed 20" x 20" ready-to-hang print, visit SilkDharma.com.

What are The Four Noble Truths?

  1. The truth of suffering
  2. The truth of the origin of suffering
  3. The truth of the cessation of suffering
  4. The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering

What is The Noble Eightfold Path?

  1. Right view
  2. Right intention
  3. Right action
  4. Right speech
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration

What is a Dharma Wheel?