identity of relative and absoluteDharma Blog Post:

There’s a koan :  Be  an ancient tree in a high wind.

This koan can inspire a way to approach the forces and energies in our lives that catch us up and blow against our fixed ideas about things.

And it brings to mind, too, what is ancient in ourselves.  Or even what lies outside of time altogether about ourselves. If you’ve ever been in the presence of an ancient tree, like the Sitka spruce at Cape Perpetua south of Yachats, or any of our local Douglas fir elders, which have withstood the winds of recent storms, you may have felt quieted by their enormity, their stillness, their steady presence.

We share in the ancient earth and stars which make us up and can draw on this timeless ground of being when the winds bring change, fire, confusion, loss, discouragement. Holding steady in a high wind is an image that can motivate us to wholeheartedness and can help us out when things fall apart, ease our distress. Even as we sit in zazen, we forbear in the winds of thought, restlessness, sluggishness, not caving to their buffeting, but just in a very simple way, maintaining in the very ground of our being, complete and holding steady.