for the purpose of learning how to breathe
i spent one long and beautiful lifetime as a tree
to breathe and nothing else
to stand and let my breath pass
in and out of each soft wood cell
my fragrant core
my crumbling bark
my smallest translucent and finely veined leaf
and i breathed in this way
autumn upon autumn
summer layered on summer
as leaf upon drifting leaf
the years gathering quietly at my feet
it would seem good preparation to be human
but so little carries over
from one lifetime to the next
the amount of rain that catches on a leaf
i have forgotten how to breathe
how to stand still within my skin
yet i have a deep affinity for trees
and on days when a warm and steady wind
i could listen all day to the sound
and feel vaguely happy vaguely sad
~ eileen o’toole
ජය ශ්රී මහා බොධිය
jaya sri maha bodhi
the sacred fig tree
in mahamewna gardens ~
said to be the southern branch
from buddha's awakening tree
sri maha bodhi in bodhgaya, india ~
planted in 288 BC
'tis the oldest living human-planted tree
in the world with a known planting date ..
'tis one of the most sacred in sri lanka ~
it is said..
there are three ways
to revere, adore, exalt the buddha -
of bo tree
arrives most vibrant in my heart and bones..
most at home..most true..
to sit beneath one such tree -
to inspire and expire
the veritable rapture of the buddha
is to pulse the heartthrob
of its very own self..
the no self..
ridding me of self centeredness
emptying me of dalliances with delusion
freeing me from the grasp of mistaken identity
for one brief moment
the feeling one has
a letter from home..
sitting beneath a bodhi tree..
jaya sri maha bodhi..
one receives such a letter..
a direct transmission of the buddhadharma ..
the transmission of sunyata..
the transmission of emptiness..
so absolutely full to the brim
with the way it is
with the this of that
~ the sacred calm which lights
the lamp of awakening ~
if one could even call it a sound
a moistening, maybe..
passing through my inner ear
so that when i sit,
when i take the seat..
deep listening opens to that very vibration
that very whispering
i am under that very tree, the holy bo
i am that very tree
there is no me..
make your revolution in the invisible temple
make your temple in the invisible revolution
~ jorie graham