My son and I spent some time in the garden this weekend. It's just so lovely to get down on the earth and dig your fingers in. It's literally getting grounded, just being a creature of the world.
There is an old story that, at the time of his awakening, the Buddha had to face Mara, the embodiment of greed and delusion. Mara used all his tricks to lure the Buddha off his path. Finally Mara asked Buddha what right he had to the seat of enlightenment.
The story says that the earth shook, and blossoms rained down from the heavens. The earth goddess herself came in support of Buddha.
Shakyamuni touched a hand to the ground, and said, "I call the earth as my witness." Then there was no room for delusion, and Mara fled.
Every time we pull a weed or plant a seed or just lie back in the grass, we call the earth as our witness. It's so simple and so available to us.
One thing I love about the tradition of Zen poetry and koans is the intimacy and enjoyment of the natural world. I'll share a few. Happy spring!
Coolness of the melons
flecked with mud
in the morning dew.
the bee emerges from deep
within the peony.
One day Ch'ang Sha went wandering in the mountains. When he
returned and came to the gate, the head of the temple asked,
"Where have you been, teacher?"
He said, "I've been wandering in the mountains."
The head of the temple asked, "Where did you go?"
He said, "I went out following the scent of grasses and came
back following the falling flowers."
The head of the temple said, "That's the spring mood
Megan Rundel is the resident teacher at the Crimson Gate Meditation Community in Oakland, CA..