The Holiness of Plants

by Nathalie Sorensen Email

On the island of Shikoku, near a small Shinto shrine

towers an immense pine tree. Worshipers circle its trunk

with a ring of thick rope; this is sacred ground.

In Thailand Buddhist monks conduct

tree ordinations, wrapping orange

robes around the boles. Ritually blessed water

is passed around, and foresters spare

these aboreal clergy from the axe.

In tenth century Japan, priests and monks

debate the question

“Can trees and plants be enlightened?”

Yes, says Ryogen, Abbot of Mount Hiei, who

sees the shrubs and flowers in his garden

asd yogis in meditation, sitting

silent, still, on their way to nirvana.

This morning I, too, sit in my garden,

hands folded, head bowed.

Around me nasturtiums

glow orange under leaf umbrellas.

Rose azaleas flicker scarlet

against purple aster, deep blue monkshood.

The early sun, without distinction,

burnishes us all.

Drenched in light, we glimmer and glisten

enlightened, enveloped, so tenderly

held in the mystery.

Feedback awaiting moderation

This post has 339 feedbacks awaiting moderation...

Leave a comment


Your email address will not be revealed on this site.

Your URL will be displayed.
(Line breaks become <br />)
(Name, email & website)
(Allow users to contact you through a message form (your email will not be revealed.)