The Perfection of Oak Trees

Rain has blessed the landscape and it feels worthy of celebration. Sweetwater Creek and her robust energy is quenching thirsts, flowing through the canyon providing care like a nurturing parent. The coast live and black oak trees on the land appear to be smiling, happily soaking in the moisture with appreciation.

It’s been exactly a year since some of the ancient oaks at Sweetwater have been treated through a process to extend their life and health. We had the great fortune of meeting “ a modern day Lorax”, tree doctor, scientist, and sangha brother, Lee Klinger. He taught us how to provide the trees with rich minerals as well as how to do tree surgeries for trees infected with fungus. We are so grateful for his work of honoring and incorporating indigenous ways of caring for the land here at the hermitage.

This process with the oaks has had us reflecting on the amazing qualities of these ancient, divine trees. They have been inspiring to us as they seem to reveal the path of a silent bodhisattva, embodying many of the transcendental actions simply by being.

(Generosity: Dana)These coastal live oaks provide so much for their environment by constantly giving all they can for the sake of providing food and oxygen, storing carbon, stabilizing the soil, and supplying materials for tools and shelter for us humans and animals.

(Morality: Sila) They live in such harmony with the environment. With each season here on the land, they do what is needed for the moment: growing leaves, shedding them, producing acorns, and then resting in winter. As a model for noble conduct, they cause no harm.

(Patience:Kshanti) They waited long for the rain, even during the recent drought, as they are able to retain what little water they receive in their trunks. This flexibility allows them to work through difficulties with ease and forbearance.

( Effort: Virya ) & (Meditation: Dhyana) These oaks have weathered many storms over the years with total perseverance. Some of them have been living here at the hermitage for as long as 300 years. They stand grounded and centered despite external events.

(Wisdom: Prajna) Their underground roots are interconnected to other trees and plants in a dynamic, interdependent relationship.

We hope you enjoy these pictures below of these magical elders. (Pictures: Lee Klinger http://www.suddenoaklife.org)

With love,

Megan & Rob

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