Days in America
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Days in America

Thinking and Reminiscing While Sitting on a Wooden Bench

The wooden bench and its ambience beside my school building

Today at lunchtime, I sat for a while at the wooden bench beside my school building. Then, I noticed one tree was planted in memory of a lady, the wife of a faculty member. I think the planting of a tree in memory of a person who has passed away is a good idea for future generations. First, this can give a family a loving memory of the person who has passed. Second, it provides an opportunity for every type of person, even if they never knew her when she was alive, to have a kind of relationship with her. As a third benefit, any living individual will have shade and clean air if we plant more trees in our environment.

This also makes me think of a belief in my culture and faith — cycles of life, or life after death. If we have life after death, then the tree planted for us, after we have died, can support our spirit in the world even though our body is no longer in the world and our spirit has moved on. With this tree, we will have both tangible and intangible consequences, in other words karma. As an intangible consequence, we can have a place to stay if we become like yoke-ka-soe in our next existence. In Burmese culture and Theravada Buddhism faith, it is believed that there are 31 realms of existence, in other words, 31 planes or forms of beings. A yoke-ka-soe is one of the aforementioned existences, who lives in big trees; it has been traditionally believed by some people in my country that we can pray to yoke-ka-soe and make a wish if we want to conceive (have a baby). Yoke-ka-soe is an existence other than human beings, but its existence is not as divine as Brahmas (higher spiritual beings) in Buddhism. As a tangible consequence, we will benefit from the planting of a tree — such as shade under which we can rest, and the air becoming more purified because of the tree — and this good deed helps us become a more divine entity after death.

The wooden bench that I sat on reflects simplicity and the use of nature-friendly outdoor furniture. It is simplistic because it is not expensive or bejeweled. But it is rather transforming raw materials of the environment — the wood of forest — into natural furniture. The wooden blench beautifully blends in with the colors of earth and trees.

Note: This post was written in mid June 2019.

References for Theravada Buddhism (Monk Sarana’s Dhamma Talk that includes 31 planes of existences)

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#NatureDIA #SpiritualityDIA #GoodDeedDIA #DecorationDIA #EnvironmentDIA #SummerDIA #2019DIA



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Khin Win Myat

An international student from Burma had found her passion for writing and painting in South Carolina.