It looked down on me. It saw me smiling.
“What’s in your mind?” the tree asked me and I answered,
“Nothing. My mind is empty, but my soul is filled.”
This is what I feel when I am under a tree, especially when I meditate. Ah, trees! There’s just something calming about them. I have a hard time explaining this feeling, but I’ll try to share why meditation and trees go together.
I feel happy looking up at a tree and getting lost at the shapes of the leaves. Every leaf is unique and beautiful. Every leaf is alive. There is a subtle mantra in the image of leaves; something that is unspoken, but can put your mind into absolute emptiness. My ego vanishes at the hundred leaves staring down at me.
When they move, they make a gentle sound. It equals bells in monasteries or monks humming unrecognizable verses. In the rustling of leaves, I find my thoughts gently being swayed off, forever flowing away with the wind.
Putting my back against the tree, I feel its strength and stillness. My back can feel the rough bark and I can smell its earthy smell. I know that this bark has been still for years and it is older than my own existence. How many insects has crawled on it? There must be more than a hundred microbes living between its crests. Humbled, I stay as still as the tree. How long can I sit in one place, like the tree has done in many years? How much ease can I feel, if I do nothing?
Parting its leaves, the tree shines a spotlight on me; letting me feel the heat of the sun. I am allowed to peak through the curtain, and see the iridescent rays—every spike is a symbol of my enlightenment.
Underneath me I can feel the energy of the roots. It is not afraid of the dark and it wonders with great pleasure. Maybe it is asking, “what will I find this time in this rich soil?”
I am covered by the tree. I am nestled in its very own being—in the life it expresses. My heart is filled, my eyes swelling with contentment. I am not a tree, but I can be one with it. I’m not ancient like the tree, but I feel infinite.
I don’t need any more words; no mantras, no prayers, and no exercises. I don’t need a mat; I don’t need a hat! I don’t need grand gestures. Simply sitting under a tree, I find myself. Even better, I find myself lost…lost forever in the endless love of the tree.