The Tree of Life… by Art~ 2012

One autumn, a zen master sat in the garden watching the leaves as they fell from the trees. The zen master’s student quietly approached, not wanting to disturb the master’s meditation. The student sat near the zen master and remained quiet.

“See the leaves fall from the tree?” The master asked.

“Yes, master!” The student replied.

“You and I are liken the leafs. We too will one day fall from this world like leaves fall from the tree.” The zen master was silent for a moment then added, “..and spring will come and a new generation will sprout from the trees of life.”

“And what will become of the tree, master?” The student asked.

“Trees, like mankind, produce offspring,” The zen master replied. “There is a tree in Jeonju, Korea, it is called the wisest tree in the world. Can you tell me why it is called the wisest tree in the world?”

“No master!” The student answered.

“I don’t know either. It is a 500 year old Gingko tree, perhaps it is because it has seen so many generations come and go?” The zen master stated. “See that tree over there?” The zen master pointed to a tree that had but a handful of leaves left on it’s branches.

“Yes master, the tree with only a few leaves left on it?”

“Yes, that is how I feel. There are but a handful of my friends and family left. I have out lived so many.” The master said. “One day I too shall sail from this life like a leaf in the wind. Then, in the spring of life, some one will take my place in the tree of life.”

“And what of the wisdom you will leave behind?” Asked the student.

“Like a drop of water it may reach but one person. I hope they scoop it up, as in the palm of their hand and gaze upon it and drink it up, then it too will be gone.” The master turned and looked at the student. “We are all family, like the branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. You will find more in the woods than in books. For the trees and stones will teach you more than any master. This is zen.”

“I understand,” the student said.

“Remember,” the zen master stated, “Wisdom is like a giant, enormous tree, no one person can embrace it!” The zen master looked up into the trees as the wind carried the last of the leaves from the tree he had been gazing upon. He took a deep breath then spoke,  “Cometh the winter.”



(thank you all for the comments and prayers for my brother Alan. There is little change other than they now believe there is something wrong with his neck, not broken but hurting him (whip-lash). He is still knocked out, respirator and they are doing three cat scans a day to monitor the bleeding in the brain. I keep telling my self, he is a fighter and in a great battle right now. Like a cacoon, I can not help him, he must do it on his own. I can only encourage and pray and hopefully once he comes to, instill him with encouragement and love for the long battle of recovery will be as much in the mind as the body. I wrote this story, “The Tree of Life” … rambling, burning nervous energy,…thanks to you, all.) … Art~

have a zen-filled day