I’ve been thinking about these patterns of weather and patterns of nature the last little while. At the community work day a few days ago, people dragged dead branches and leaves out of the forest. Everything there on the ground was alive and growing with sap running through at one time. The leaves were green; they were living and functioning. Now they are on the ground dead and they’ve changed. If you look in nature you find that there isn’t a perfect tree or patch of grass anywhere. Wherever you look, there’s some kind of error, crack, malformation, or discoloration in the leaves and branches. But when we look at ourselves, our body, and the things that we identify with we think they should be perfect and optimum. That’s an idea we have about how things should be. But nothing in nature that suggests that it is like that. Things go through changes: it’s hot and then it cools down; it’s day and then it’s night; we’re hungry and then we’re full; we’re tired and then we’re awake; we’re happy and then we’re sad—all of the worldly winds, all of the cycles of nature. It is good to immerse ourselves in the cycles of nature rather than in society where we habitually compare ourselves with one another. Dissatisfaction arises when we compare ourselves to some other human being living in the world. In nature, you see these same cycles of aging, sickness, and death, but there’s a coolness about it, it’s not threatening, and one doesn’t try to compare oneself with nature the way we do with human beings.
We’re not static beings; there is constant change in the body and mind. As long as we identify with ourselves, the way we look at the world, or how the body is or should be, we are bound to suffer.
But looking and comparing ourselves with nature and seeing things as a process rather than something static cools things down and brings a sense of equanimity to our heart. When we move towards greed or hatred, the heart is in a certain state and certain perceptions are available to it. When the heart is greedy it sees things in a certain way. When the heart is hateful it sees things in an another way. And if there is equanimity there are perceptions specific to our mind that are not available to the mind of greed or hatred. We find the middle way that leads towards equanimity and away from hatred, greed and delusion. As we refine and develop that sense, we are able to see more in accordance with how things actually are.