Buddhist Wisdom for Valentine's Day
An oak tree which provides food for many creatures, makes room for other plants to grow and doesn't hog up all of the light and space is said by Cherokee people to be an Unselfish, generous tree. People can also eat acorn meal If they know how to leach out the tanic acid and the roasted, shells can make a coffee substitute. The oak also protects the land by helping to stop erosion of the soil. This same tree spoken of below makes home for many kinds of birds and insects, providing shade for reptile people who must have it in the Summer.
We Americans tend to think of "offering ourselves" in only sexual terms. But Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh is talking about offering ones attention, caring, and inner qualities. I hope you enjoy his talk to children.
"You are a lover. You are called a lover when you love someone. When you love someone
you want to offer him or her something. You always want to offer them something.
If you really love them a lot, it is a natural tendency.
But what do you have in order to offer? A lot of people think they have to buy something.
They go to the supermarket. They buy something. But the most precious thing you can
offer to the person you love is not something you can buy at a marketplace… yourself.
You offer yourself unto her. You say, "I'm here for you."
I think the oak tree is a lover. The oak tree standing outside is a lover because
it has so many things to offer us. On a hot day like yesterday, standing in the shadow
of an oak tree you feel much better. And an oak tree has so many things to offer.
And the oak tree doesn't have to go to the marketplace and buy.
The oak tree I contemplated this morning is a very beautiful one. She's solid green,
beautiful, fresh and she can offer many different things- her beauty, her freshness,
her shadow. That is why I think, I believe the tree is a true lover. And the willow
tree, also. And the palm tree, also. And the mountain, also, because the mountain
can offer us many things.
This morning we practiced a sitting meditation on the mountain. The mountain is so
beautiful. And again, the mountain did not have to go to the marketplace and buy
something. She offers herself.
So when you truly love someone, you don't have to go to the market and buy something.
You just offer yourself. If you are beautiful, if you are fresh, if you are pleasant,
if you are solid, if you are free, then you have many things to offer to the person
A Talk For Children by Thich Nhat Hanh