Family (of Redwoods)


Nandan and I have been enjoying our Christmas break in San Francisco the past few days. Today was our last day before we head to round 2 of vipassana. We spent the day at Muir Woods right outside the city. I learned something really neat during our hike this morning that I wanted to share with you all.

First: most trees in an established forest do not grow from single trees. They actually grow from sprouts from healthy trees. These “parent” trees essentially grow burls at the bottom of the trunk near the roots and then these burls turn into saplings, and eventually individual trees.
Second: these saplings will essentially form in a circle around the parent tree, forming what is known as a family (of redwoods).

I just thought that this concept was so cool. The idea of family constructs isn’t limited to the human world. You can see this idea of a family literally all throughout the natural world, even in plant life! This seriously blew my mind.

I’ve always believed that there is a lot to learn from nature, but today I learned a huge lesson. I learned that just like the sapling is dependent on the family for its growth and nutrition, we must be willing to be open to the constant stream of nourishment that is coming our way from everyone that surrounds us. But, more than that, we must be so filled with compassion love, and nourishment, that it should be constantly flowing out of us and into the hearts and souls of the people around us. We are just as responsible for the giving of nourishment as we are for the taking of it.

This was huge. This idea of growth is so obvious in the physical form in nature, but never have I seen it this way. This experience could not have come at a better time as I start my second round of vipassana, and as we finish Christmas and 2013, and start a new year. Maybe my resolution will be to be full of love and compassion for everyone that crosses my path. Can’t wait to see what the new year has in store, and what incredible new experiences I’ll stumble upon next,

Can’t wait to share my experiences with you all about my second vipassana! See you in 10 days!


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