THE EARTH AND THE TREE
DAICH GARY ROBINSON
I noticed that the tree on the other side of my lounge room
window had let go of its last russet leaf, and then today, beneath
that same tree, I see that a few daffodils have broken surface
and begun to bloom. The passing seasons seem to be endless yet
equally fleeting; gaudy and discreet, sturdy yet fragile. Simply
Wondrous! We are truly fortunate to be born as human beings,
but we should also try to remember that everything that we can
hear, touch, smell and see all around us is not a show being
put on for our benefit or entertainment. We all are intrinsically
involved and just like the leaves on the tree or the daffodils in the shade of its branches we are subject to the same process
of diminishment, decay and death. Demise is fact of life, but
if nature is anything to go by, so is regeneration and renewal.
is a phrase used to try to explain the Taoist theory or process
of Wu Wei; a relationship interpreted as being of 'mutual
benefit' or one where there is 'no victor and no vanquished'.
That phrase is, "The tree does not own the earth that it
stands in - and the earth does not own the tree that stands
in it". It does seem to me that too many of us humans can
see no further than the end of our own noses and think much
more about taking than giving from both nature and our fellow human beings
and regard the diminishment of 'mine' as a loss.
Shonin, the second founder of Jodo Shinshu suggested that if
our religious practice requires an object to venerate that image
should be a simple 'myogo', that is "Namu Amida Butsu"
written in ink on paper. Why? Rennyo Shonin had observed that
those that owned costly gilded statues of Amida Buddha believed
that their wealth could 'buy' them a place in Amida's Pure Land
and worse still, that they could take their wealth and privileged position
with them to the Pure Land. Nobody 'owns' the Pure Land and as far as I understand
it, it is those that try to live a life of giving without expectation of
reward that are most welcomed to Amida's Pure Land.
The giving is the receiving.