Pear Tree Dharma
Dharma Glimpse by Kaspa
I was sitting in the garden. Next to me was a half empty mug of strong coffee; a stainless steel cafetiere with the rest of the coffee in, ready for topping up the mug; a pair of secateurs; and a pair of garden shears.
I drained the last of the coffee from the mug, picked up the secateurs and started trimming the bottom edge of our silver weeping pear tree. It was probably the wrong time of year for pruning, but I had some time and a little bit of energy, and I was feeling sorry for the flower bed underneath the tree. The weeping branches made a thick curtain and completely shielded the bed from sight.
It’s one of my favourite flower beds. In spring time there are hellebores and lungwort and later in the year the wild geranium flowers. They all do well enough in the half shade.
I started to clip the branches, creating light for the plants underneath. The flower bed revealed itself to me. It was full of nettles, brambles and ground elder.
“Oh”, I thought, “perhaps I’d have been better leaving all of this covered up. Now I’ve created more work for myself.”
Sometimes it’s like this with my Buddhist practice. There is a period of letting go of old habits, beliefs and unhelpful patterns and then a moment of relief, and then I look more closely and what was underneath all of that? More of the same. Here we go again.
These days I trust that I’m not here to clear everything away. Sometimes pure space does appear and I can see all the way through my stuff to the emptiness on the other side. And then more stuff bubbles up to fill the space. So I tend to what comes up, trusting that it’s helpful to look after what’s in front of me. Trusting that that’s enough.
Even if I don’t manage to weed the flower bed, the tree still looks better.