March 22nd, 2023
Today, I share this wise and lovely poem by Grace Butcher, LEARNING FROM TREES.
It is published in the author's book: Child, house, world
You can support the poet and buy the book here: https://a.co/d/5GSFjWq
Learning from Trees
By Grace Butcher
If we could,
like the trees,
do it every year
just as something we do--
like going on vacation
or celebrating birthdays,
it would become
as easy a part of us
as our hair or clothing.
Someone would show us how
to lie down and fade away
as if in deepest meditation,
and we would learn
about the fine dark emptiness,
both knowing it and not knowing it,
and coming back would be irrelevant.
Whatever it is the trees know
when they stand undone,
we need to know also
so we can allow
that last thing
to happen to us
as if it were only
any ordinary thing,
Leaves and lives
the spirit, complex,
waiting in the fine darkness
to learn which way
it will go.
But, you may say, it is spring, and we are just now turned towards the light, and growth and newness in the world - why would I practice DEATH??
And what if I told you that the most ALIVE people I know are those who have befriended - or at least thought deeply and openly about - their own deaths?
What if it is the very fear and abhorrence of death we walk with that keeps us from true presence in the moments of our lives?
What if - as I have seen it do - practicing death opened a doorway through which some of the anxiety we carry might flow downstream, away from our tired, battered bodies, hearts and minds, and a new light or sprout or hope could grow where the battering winds of fear have been stilled?
I invite you to consider, that is all.
Consider your relationship to what awaits us - every one of us.
Shall you face it covering your eyes and ears? Or might you find the courage to peer into the leaves that fall, even now, whatever stage of living or dying you are at, off of your own tree-body?
Because I would almost promise that the green that grows within your heart will blossom on the other side of fear, like the magnificent blessing it is; and become a vibrant gratitude for the precious moments you still have, and an ever-growing peace around grief, loss, and the friend you once feared; your dear, impending death.
With Love and a wish for presence in all your moments,
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
By Sogyal Rinpochet
And more, on the RESOURCES page.
P.S. COMING SOON. . .
I will be starting up my in-person, open monthly gathering:
Dancing with Death;
Befriending Death and Dying as a Path to Living Life Fully
Grieving and Loss, Logistics of Dying; Art and Movement based Activities;
Neuroscience of Fear and Helpful Somatic Healing Techniques; Open Conversation - Share Your Thoughts in Safety;
Each Month, a Peaceful Practice for Dying Exercise.
Leave a Reply.
Rev. Maya Massar