I felt a positive yearning toward one bush this afternoon. There was a match found for me at last. I fell in love with a shrub oak.

I felt a positive yearning toward one bush this afternoon. There was a match found for me at last. I fell in love with a shrub oak. — Henry David Thoreau

Walking the woods is my daily meditation after my early morning Zazen (sitting meditation). It follows each other naturally. Sitting still in contemplation then walking into the woods must be the most natural thing to do. Our three dogs; Loki, Freya and Luna with me. They doing their dog-thing in the beginning, like shitting and sniffing the familiar smells of usual spots. They very predictable about that. But then, as with me, there is this moment that that falls away and a space opens, opening of senses. Raw energy of sight, smell and physical impact of weather and movement.

View of Postupice, Czech Republic

Depending on the trail we do there is always a different story unfolding. On each trail I meet the trees I like. One pine tree in particular is my hugging tree. Somehow we got to meet. I saw his majestic size, him watching over the other trees. I always pray that he gets spared from the tree slaughter. Does far he survived, while around him others are falling for the god of economics. When we hug, I pray a Buddhist mantra; om tare tuttare ture soha

Offering to the God of economics

An ancient mantra related to Tara, the “Mother of all Buddha’s”. Tara, who Tibetans also call Dolma, is thought to be a Bodhisattva or Buddha of compassion and action, a protector who comes to our aid to relieve us of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering.

There is no competition in nature. Just cooperation.

It is now a ritual which I use more often. Last fall/winter I used it in the hunting season. It is for me hard to understand that we take away the natural environment of our fellow friend and then hunt them because they eat our crops.

Walking down the hill releases tension in body and mind. Thoughts change, the stickiness of it dissolves. Then thoughts become transparent and lose their spiky energy. At a certain point when my body feels warm and vibrates pleasantly, a different stream of consciousness floats to the surface. Then, when I walk back up the hill, the stream becomes productive. I find that when my mind is empty and my body uses more energy, my thoughts come from a different place. Keeping them floating in emptiness I only have to sense them to understand their message. While still connected to my surroundings.

These are the moment that `something` reveals itself. It gets uncovered. Not just thoughts but also the sound of a bird, movement of deer, shapes and forms of trees, spring treasures unfolding right in front of me. Those are the moment I meet myself in the other. This is the moment I sense I am that.

Before taking a picture I sense the story. I know when to click. All I have to do is stand still and be still. Just this, right now.

Freya a Caribbean island dog from St Maarten

The dogs are as natural as they can be. Watching my movements. Expecting my moves. Loki and Freya come to make contact. Their faces relaxed. The way they stride is without force. So now and then they run after a deer, knowing they will never keep up. But that`s okay. It’s part of the game. Luna knows the way home. Old and brave like a little trooper. Never giving up.

Turning into the last stretch of our walk we are all satisfied. We all know it. There is a letting go. We look at each other convinced that we did good. We did something good. Whatever it was, it does not matter. Because we know.

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. -Henry David Thoreau.

Thanks for reading. The green heart is my reward. Michel _/|\_