Like the Roots of a Grand Oak


This journey of meditation is a teacher for me. At times, words flow out as guidance and I seem so connected to a Universal truth. Other days, I wake up feeling like I did as a child with my face close to a fan and yelling into it unable to understand my words. It’s all been a process of letting go and trusting. Each day holds an arc like a good story. I wait for the flow. Obstacles pop up and I worry about delivery, about timing, about the audience. I have to let go. I have to trust.

Authenticity is so important to me. I trust authentic people, authentic circumstances. I feel safe when I witness humanness, not an air-brushed version. That’s why I sit in my pajamas on Zoom without brushing my hair, no makeup. Real is real. So many facades have crumbled in my life, I choose not to play the façade game anymore. In the words of Popeye - “I am what I am, and that's all that I am.”

Listening to Matt Kahn’s latest video, I was impacted by the metaphor he uses with trees weathering the seasons. The tree is in its heyday during spring and summer. I imagine the excitement and aliveness during this budding and blooming period as life seems to flow with ease. Then autumn arrives and the memories of the budding and blooming days fade as colors come forth and leaves fall to the ground. Then winter hits like the dark night of the soul, and the tree still stands steadfastly grounded, trusting it will survive through the doom and gloom of the less-light time. The weathering is the process. The trusting is the process. Season after season the acceptance of the great mystery of change continues.

I feel the disharmony of life.

I feel the fear.

I feel the unknown.

I choose to trust this process.

Like the roots of a grand oak,

I focus on life force

take a breath,

in and out

In moments of despair,

I choose not to panic.

Where is my foothold, my surrender?

It is in my breath.

My life is full of moments.

I am in charge of me.

I see my mind pacing

at the doorway of thought

with hands on hips

pacing feet

reminding me of my commitments,

my daily plans.

I smile in silence and not engage

as I watch her pace about

with her ‘what if’s’ and ‘better not’s’

I breathe and surrender.

My mind is confused as my habits change.

What does it do with itself when I’m off course?

Surrender I suggest is a much easier choice,

feeling lost means I’m right on target.

I jump much slower to conclusions

that pop up in my panic

taking time to just be and

survey and assess and breathe.

My daily meditation is like the tree

strong and steady and authentic.

What I need in any moment

Is up to me to define.


Here is a Day by Danna Faulds

From Go in and in: Poems from the heart of yoga


Here is a day,

Dawn to dark,

A string of moments

Small enough to

Ignore or notice,

A stretch of time

Between awakening

And sleep to be

Savored, or brushed

Aside in the rush

To some distant

Destination. Here

Is a day, different

From any other,

With its own flavor

To be tasted. The

Golden glow just

Before the sun

Rose held such

Promises as I

Knew must be kept –

Knew beyond even

The nagging whisper

Of doubt were true –

That this very day

The whole perfection

Of the universe can

Be inhaled like the

Scent of fallen leaves,

The heady fragrance

Of trees returning what

Was never theirs to keep

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I loved meditating on the tree. I focused on being rooted at this time with all this turbulence, uncertainty and fear. Staying rooted is so important in facing that.

  • I just was struck with the fact that after spring and summer, we get into fall and we begin to see the shape of the trees directly, what the bones are, how they branch; the basic nature of the trees, not all the blossoming, but the bones.

  • I was struck by the concept of the very beginnings of the day and the very ends of the day, and I can either brush it aside or just relish every moment of it. What came immediately to mind is the serenity prayer, the first part – accept the things I cannot change – I could immerse myself in the unrest in the world and beat my head against the wall, or I can simply say I can’t change that. I can’t change that. I can take advantage of the moments of the day and be the best person I can be and change what I can change.

  • Thank you so much for saying that. I needed to hear that right this very moment. I have an adult child who is in the throes of addiction and probably has some bipolar issues and refuses to get help. I’ve been dealing with this adult child for 30 years. I needed to hear that. Thank you.

  • I know this group holds the collective pain because we hear it and we feel it. We hear it and we hold it. We’re not alone.

  • It means so much to hear people ask for help because it helps me not feel alone. I agree with the importance of authenticity. To be able to feel authenticity, it’s my discerning skill.

  • It’s difficult to be authentic. When I am speaking my truth, I can look weak and feel like a failure. It’s a hard thing to do. I’m grateful you reminded me how important authenticity is, even when I’m called on my stuff or I hurt somebody or I do something wrong, to be able to admit it, move on and stay in my truth and ignore the fact that I may look weak. It’s being true to myself.

  • I believe there is power in vulnerability. Truth resides in vulnerability and if I’m in my truth, that’s the bottom line.

  • Thank you thank you for sharing your hearts; sharing your thoughts; sharing your time; being present; being authentic. It is so powerful. I do believe there is incredible strength in vulnerability. It’s like an oxymoron. I grew up learning all the ideals of life and yet my truth may not meet the ideals of society. Yet there is truth in vulnerability. It takes courage to stand in vulnerability.

  • We hold each other in our pain and our joys. I can feel it. It is this buoying feeling. It is amazing. I wish you all an authentic day.

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