Be a tree!

Today I saw a drawing with a quote from Ram Dass on Facebook.  He said, “You look at the tree and you allow it.  You appreciate it.  And so I practice turning people into trees.  Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

What a novel concept, right?  Here’s the thing, we get it.  We all get it, we know what he means but almost none of us understand what he means.

Have you ever walked into a forest?  Did you ever look at the trees and think to yourself, “Well, that’s an ugly tree and those trees over there look like they’re dangerous.  I better keep an eye on them so they don’t hurt me.”  Of course not, that would be ridiculous!  We do it with each other all the time though.

You might think, “Ramdas, that’s silly.  Of course trees won’t try to mug me but those shifty looking people over on the corner, they look like the type that might mug me.  I need to stay safe.”  You are correct, no tree has ever been convicted of a violent crime.  Humans have a long history of violence and it may be too much for me to ask you to see people as you see trees, that’s not a problem.  Baba Ram Dass says to see everyone as a tree.  I don’t.

I want you to see yourself the way a tree might see itself.  Can you imagine a tree saying, “Do these leaves make me look fat?”  How about, “I hate winter.  All my leaves fall and I feel so naked!”  Or even, “I’m tired of having leaves that fall off, I want to be a pine tree.”  All crazy talk but we do it to ourselves all the time, every day even.  We see ourselves as ugly or fat or skinny or short or whatever.  We think we’re not good enough or not worthy of being happy.

I want you to see YOU as a tree.  See how life has shaped you into the perfect tree that you are right now.  Don’t think you can do it?  Do you think to yourself, “But I’m not perfect; so, how can I be a perfect tree?”

Here’s how you start:  Go look at a tree.  Just look at it.  Lie under its branches if you can and just look at it.  Don’t make any comments about it, just look.  Now find a mirror and do the same with your own face.  Just look at it, just see it, nothing more.  I’ll check in with you tomorrow.

Jai Bhagwan