Trees, grass, dirt and earth: ancient wisdom and modern insights

Contribution by Penny

Ordinary Mind Zen Melbourne acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which we meet and the wisdom of their Elders. Recently I read a poem by the late Nadampala/Amurrak Elder Bill Neidjie from his book Story about Feeling which I love:

I love it tree because e love me too
E watching me same as you
Tree e working with my body, your body, e working with us
While you sleep and working daylight when walking around e work too

That tree, grass…..that all like our father
Dirt, earth, I sleep with this earth,
Grass, just like your brother, in my blood in my arm, this grass,
This dirt for us because we’ll all be dead
We’ll be going this earth.
This the story now

Just sitting is the essential Zen way to realising our connection with all things, but like many I find spending time in nature is also important to help me remain balanced when faced with personal challenges or depressing news about the state of our world. I am grateful for the inspiration of ancient Indigenous wisdom and also for wonderful new books such as Wildwood: A journey through Trees by Roger Deakin, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and Overstory by Richard Powers. And like John O’Donohue:

I would love to live
Like a river flows
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding


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