May 2

  

Today's Quotation:

All of nature offers lessons on living, free of charge.  One morning I noticed a dead tree supporting many living things--fungus, vines, lichen--which taught me that even after death we can continue to support those who live on.  Living trees on our property teach other lessons.  One tree has grown around a barbed wire fence.  Another has grown around a nail, and a third through a chain link fence.  These trees teach me how to accept irritation, absorb the pain and grow around problems.  Nature teaches me how to find my place, grow toward the sunlight and bypass obstacles.  To survive, we must be able to change in response to whatever is required by the challenge of the moment.  Our bodies know this, but our minds often rebel when change is necessary.

Bernie S. Siegel

Today's Meditation:

Resilience and adaptation.  These are qualities that can be quite beneficial to us, but which we tend to struggle greatly with.  First of all, we tend to do our best to avoid situations in which we need to show these qualities, for they're very often unpleasant.  Why do we need to show our ability to adapt unless someone's put some barbed wire in our way?  Why do we need to adapt unless we need to grow around a nail or through a chain link fence?

If someone does put an obstacle in the way of the direction in which we're growing, we tend to complain a lot before we even think of adapting to the new obstacle.  We tend to say it's not fair, and the obstacle should be removed!  Unfortunately, I think, we far too often succeed in removing the barrier before we ever have to learn how to grow around it, and we end up learning nothing from a potentially great learning opportunity.

We can learn from the trees who stand their ground day after day, just doing what trees do.  They grow to be strong but flexible, and it's not their strength that allows them to withstand severe storms, but their flexibility.  When they meet an obstacle, they grow slowly but surely around it, without a single complaint (that we know of, anyway!)

This moment requires something from you, be it patience, understanding, strength, courage, or something else.  There are examples of all these things to be found in the natural world, role models for us to learn from and to take valuable lessons from.  The lessons are there for us, but the question is whether or not we see and accept them.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What kinds of lessons might a flower in a pot teach you?

2.  Why do most of us not recognize these lessons as lessons?

3.  What is the current moment asking of you?  Can you think of something from the natural world that models that trait?

For further thought:

Nature has given to each conscious being every power she possesses, and one of these abilities is this:  just as Nature converts and alters every obstacle and opposition, and fits them into their predestined place, making them a part of herself, so too the rational person is able to finesse every obstacle into an opportunity, and to use it for whatever purpose it may suit.

Marcus Aurelius

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