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“Imagine a Pine Tree” – Thich Nhat Hanh

March 13, 2019

Lion’s Roar magazine re-ran a very short article by Thich Nhat Hanh titled “Imagine a Pine Tree” and if you have a couple of minutes I think it’s worth checking out. The short article is his answer to a question on suffering; specifically what practices he recommends that might ease not only suffering due to physical pain, but suffering with the pain of despondency over the world . The answer, like everything he says, is not a simple solution. But, like everything he says, the answer is beautiful and it gives you something to pause and think about, and maybe try, and hopefully apply. Here’s a snippet of his answer (which hopefully doesn’t violate any copyright laws) – –

“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.”

I think the takeaway there is the last sentence – “The basic thing we can do to help the world is to be . . . gentle to ourselves.”

Are you gentle to yourself? Are you as gentle to yourself as you are to others?

If you visit the link above or follow this link https://www.lionsroar.com/imagine-a-pine-tree-january-2012/ you can read his full answer.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2019 1:34 pm

    Thanks for the link, Michael. You’re right, it was worth the read.

    Like

  2. March 14, 2019 12:01 am

    Thanks! I definitely worry too much about all the other trees.

    Like

    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      March 14, 2019 9:16 am

      Just don’t forget to be gentle to yourself while you’re worrying. Hmm… I wonder if it’s possible to be both gentle to oneself and worry at the same time?

      Liked by 1 person

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