One of the images that [Ajahn Chah] gave of the practice was of a coconut tree. A coconut tree draws nutriments from the planet; it draws elements good and bad, clean and dirty, up through the roots and into the top of the tree and then produces fruit that gives both sweet water and delicious meat.
In the same way, as practitioners, we take all the different experiences that we have, all the different contacts with the world that we have, and we draw them up through our practice of Virtue, of Concentration, of Wisdom. They all can be transformed into something that is very peaceful, that bears great fruit in terms of insight, understanding, and a tremendous balance and sense of peace. We don’t need to be shy or worried or concerned about the different experiences that we have – whether we’re successful or not in our meditation, or whether we experience praise or blame, gain or loss.
All of those experiences can be drawn up, through our practice, through our training. They can all be transformed. I think that’s a wonderfully encouraging image.
This reflection is from the booklet, Ajahn Chah’s Teachings on Nature, pp. 2-3.