Sunday, January 8, 2012

How to Be a Good Pine Tree

The Last Gleam, by Charles Warren Eaton

Sometimes we just need a simple reminder:

"Imagine a pine tree standing in the yard. If that pine tree were to ask us what it should do, what the maximum is a pine tree can do to help the world, our answer would be very clear: 'You should be a beautiful, healthy pine tree. You help the world by being your best.' That is true for humans also. The basic thing we can do to help the world is to be healthy, solid, loving, and gentle to ourselves. Then when people look at us, they will gain confidence. They will say, 'If she can do that, I can do that too!'

"So anything you do for yourself, you do for the world. Don’t think that you and the world are two separate things. When you breathe in mindfully and gently, when you feel the wonder of being alive, remember that you’re also doing this for the world. Practicing with that kind of insight, you will succeed in helping the world. You don’t even have to wait until tomorrow. You can do it right now, today."

    —excerpt from "Imagine a Pine Tree," an interview with Thich Nhat Hanh, Shambhala Sun, January 2012

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