We all go through difficult periods from time to time. Our proverbial forty days in the desert, our dark nights of the soul. These can give us strength if we remember that “this too will pass”, that life is never without purpose or meaning, and that all experiences carry many teachings.
A long time ago – almost it seems in another lifetime, I was young and unsure about my place in the world, wondering whether I was really welcome. I was waiting for a bus, shivering on a cold wintery city sidewalk in the University District. As I stood there in the grey and bland urban surroundings, I noticed a young maple sapling next to the street. Someone had thoughtlessly torn off one of the main branches, leaving a gaping wound, still fresh with moist sap. Sensing the energetic trauma in the tree, instinctively, I reached out with my hand and held it over the gash. I visualized healing light from the infinite universe, flowing through me, into the tree, and back to the universe. Subsequently, a peacefulness spread over me, blossomed within me, and this blessing remained me as a palpable feeling of ease and contentment for the rest of the day.
Months or perhaps years later, I was going through some inner turmoil and had lost the connection with my heart. The bus I was riding had stopped, but I was paying no heed to the world, lost in the darkness of my mental suffering. Suddenly, something made me turn my head to look out the open window. There, in the full bloom of summer, was my old friend, “Young Maple”, birds singing in her branches and a radiant green light emanating outwards into the universe. My teachers say that if you always remember to share your blessings, praying that their karmic effects never vanish until all beings are happy and free, that is the best practice. (Originally published March 11, 2007).