Zen Day 40: Experiencing

You just look around, look into the eyes of a child, or into the eyes of your beloved, your mother, your friend – or just feel a tree. Have you ever hugged a tree? Hug a tree, and one day you will come to know that it is not only that you have hugged the tree but that the tree also responds, the tree also hugs you. Then for the first time you will be able to know that the tree is not just the form, it is not just a certain species the botanists talk about, it is an unknown God – so green in your courtyard, so full of flowers in your courtyard, so close to you, beckoning you, calling you again and again.

Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang Chapter 2

An “experience” is something that can be filed away in a notebook, or captured on film and pasted into an album. ‘Experiencing’ is the feeling of wonder itself, the thrill of communion, the gentle touch of our connectedness with all that surrounds us. 

The woman in this card is not just touching this tree, she is in communion with it, she has almost become one with it. It is an old tree, and has seen many hard times. Her touch is gentle, reverent, and the white on the inside of her cape reflects the purity of her heart. She is humble, simple – and that is the right way to approach nature. Nature doesn’t bang any drums when it bursts forth into flower, nor play any dirges when the trees let go of their leaves in the fall. But when we approach her in the right spirit, she has many secrets to share. 

If you haven’t heard nature whispering to you lately, now is a good time to give her the opportunity.


After half the night spent awake fretting over the smallest (to the largest) worries I have, I would say that this is the universe giving me a big ol’ smack on the butt and a silent, “Dummy!  Shut up and live!”

Sometimes I need that.  At least my mother claims that I’ve always been overly sensitive and analytic, over-thinking things and unable to let them go.  I know this about myself.  It can be a, well, shall we call it preoccupation?

It has always been a very conscious act on my part to separate myself from my mind and to simply observe unthinkingly in order to just experience the world around me.  I suppose I can’t force my mind to stop analyzing, I can only recognize it, be aware of it.  But I can also be more mindful of the world around me and try to drink it in just for the sake of its being there.

That is one of the many reasons that I was initially drawn to BD – where I am overly analytic and bookish, he is a lover of nature and of the world.  He is very observant and is always able to point out the random hawk flying overhead (in the city?!) or the bluebird perched at the top of a tree.  Just being around BD makes me more observant and mindful, which I treasure.

And so…today I will make a concerted effort to just observe and experience.  To enjoy.  To not over-think or analyze.  Even if it kills me.


Last night I had my first pregnancy-related hormonal meltdown.  At least it was ridiculous enough that we were both laughing while I couldn’t stop crying.  I was just so tired!  And it wasn’t helped by the fact that BD and I had been quibbling over upcoming trips and chores and projects.  BD was a sweetheart and just played along; luckily, a restaurant down the street was having a guest chef doing a taco night (my childhood favorite), so we went over there and gorged ourselves on quesadillas and carne asada tacos.

I finally figured out how to explain to BD what my discomfort feels like: I feel like someone has cut me open, inserted an aspic into my belly, and closed me back up again.  Every time I take a step, the aspic jiggles, and because it’s crammed into my gut, it really hurts inside my belly!  That’s about as accurate a description as I can come up with.

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2 thoughts on “Zen Day 40: Experiencing

  1. jasondegray says:

    Are you implying we should all be tree huggers?

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