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Tend Your Life, that Rose Plant

A historian is trained not to be based on mere gossip in public. What is good proof? Yogananda repeatedly told the world is a dream. If so, it is sometimes a wet dream also. So what other proofs are given by him that are better than his dreams? That is for you to find out if you can.

Tend the rose of happiness in the garden of your life

Roses have thorns beneath the flowers, but you may not see them at first, second and third glance.

To survive is in part like tending a rose, Yogananda writes:

"We are usually born . . . As we live and grow, we begin to lose . . ., and the roses in us begin to fade.

. . . Some roses, worm eaten encounter a premature ugly death . . . devoured by poverty, sickness, or sorrow.

We have to constantly dig . . . with the spade . . .

Pests . . . attack . . .

Be guarding . . . happiness from all the influences which destroy it."

[Swami Yogananda. "Creating Happiness". East West, March, 1933 Vol. 5-5.]

Yogananda here holds a dreaming gardener's view. At other times a hysterical view:

Hysterical Yogananda

In 1915 a stray bullet ended its furious flight in my chest. I fell groaning to the ground. My whole body was paralyzed.

"At last the mysterious footstep of Death has caught up with me," I thought. With a final sigh, I was about to sink into unconsciousness when lo! I found myself seated in the lotus posture.

Hysterical tears poured forth.

Autobiography, Chapter 30, abridged.

A Fisherman Look at "Move on"

The rose above cannot move on. A paralysed Yogananda could not move on as long as he was paralysed. So the topic "moving on" has its difficulties and special cases to be dealt with.

The large society is served by mobility, and much mobility tends to take down idyls, and make uprooted. Better be warned.

While you keep hovering somewhere, you may be told to move on and do it because:

  • You thought you had formerly been given valuable counsel without evidence that it truly was so?
  • You never stopped to think twice, considering that some second thoughts could be very good?
  • To move is to "die" a bit (French wisdom) and have you come that far?
  • One often loses much by moving and you found that out too late?

Move or stay, what will it be? At times the choice is between moving and remaining. It may help to recognise what looks safe, fair, fit, true, valid, reliable, and interesting to be with, rising above slogans, to name a few basics. It helps to think.

In Rogerian councelling it is the client who is to find out his or her feelings and what to do - through a delicate, increasingly sensitive process of rumination, and outcomes may not be clearly visible either. Soundness and fairness could help you crack hidden codes or ulterior motives - whatever is not fit.

When other fishers ask you to move on from where they are circling in the sea, could there be ulterior motives, or is might used as a solution? Do they want shoals of fish for themselves, for example? At any rate, if they don't tell you where to go and why, you may end up in a worse situation, or a pligh.

Staying and rooted. "I am always here. Where can I go?" asked Ramana Maharshi. He spent his adult life on a hill-side. There is a deep meaning here, I had better tell.

"A tree uses what comes its way to nurture itself . . . by reaching out to the sun, the tree perfects its character . . ." [Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao, 1996, p. 18]. – One is to use the past as the trees use the soil - to draw nourishment and anchoring from it for "the present and possible future unfolding". A tree is rooted, and possibly protected well enough by roots and bark and other measures, if it were not for humans the world over - chopping, cutting, sawing off branches that they sit on (depends on) like maniacs. I mean there is plunder and burning of trees in rain forests and woods the world over, and impoverishment and sufferings for all dependants on large trees. "Regarding tree problems - You have met the enemy and he is us (Pogo)."

There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in the spring, or the rustle os insect's wings. . . . And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whipperpoorwill or the argument of the frogs around the pool at night? — Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If man spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know — the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to earth. . . . All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. - Chief Seattle, 1856, upon surrendering his tribal lands.

Towards a better world: Protect what good is left and plant seeds anew. It is an ongoing process

"No shade tree? Blame not the sun but yourself." [Chinese Proverb]

"We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees. [Chief Edward Moody, Qwatsinas, Nuxalk Nation]

"The act of planting a tree is, yes, a simple one. But rich. Rich in symbolism, rich in personal satisfaction, rich in the exercise of responsibility. [Michael Fisher, Sierra Club]

"Each generation takes the earth as trustees. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed." [J. Sterling Morton]

The tree usually is firmest near the bottom bottom, and somewhat flexible further up among tender twigs, for example. One hardly needs exhortations to fulfill one's intrinsic designs fairly well. Along with unfoldment of branches and leaves, there is a need for deepening and broadening roots.

And the boat of your handling and skills probably cannot afford having big holes or many small holes beneath the water surface. Things like these matter figuratively too.

Rather much depends on how well we live up to what we perceive, and our strategic skills, but that is not all there is to successful living. How we treat plants and others, may reflect a blend of our accommodations and how we are within beneath the veneer and surface too. Are we stunters and exploiters only, or are we glad to let fair others thrive and enjoy life as we do?

A tree that is often uprooted, may not thrive but get much more rootloose-footloose than those who tend to their tender and think roots and also the larger parts underneath the surface. But "the beet must be uprooted," says Roland Freisler.

If you could choose, prefer to be the tree with good roots in good soil (company, environment), instead of a beet that is first uprooted and made use of or "eaten up" by companies and the like. Prefer health, and a healthy environment if you can could choose, and preferably long before dire difficulties set in.


Rose, garden work, environmental tips, organic gardening, Literature  

Lavelle, Christine and Michael. The Organic Gardener: How to Create Flower, Vegetable, Herb and Fruit Gardens Using Completely Natural Techniques. London: Southwater, 2004. —— Gardens to grow up in - there are lots to take in. "Much of the current interest in organic gardening began in the 1960s, when there was increasing concern about the growing levels of environmental damage caused by pesticides and other agrochemicals." It has got much worse after that. However, the modern organic movement has a long and variously rooted history. "Ancient writers, among them Pliny and Virgil, commented on the importance of "good husbandry to the health of the land". Thomas Tusser in 1580 advocated "crop rotation to maintain good health". John Evelyn describes in the 17th century how to enrich the ground in mid-winter with "horse and sheeps dung especially, that you may have some of two years preparation". (p. 7, all) It is worth thinking of that "The cost of not adopting an organic approach may be seen all around us . . . fields and open spaces bereft of butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife with very little diversity of plant species . . . Perhaps a garden free of "bugs" may sound attractive to some, but the long-term cost to the environment may be felt for generations and in the worst case may even be permanent." (p. 10)

Sciberras, Colette. Buddhist Philosophy and the Ideals of Environmentalism. Doctoral Thesis, Durham University, 2010. —— A study of Mahayana doctrines and possible future adaptations to a sort of luminocity of light and protection of diversity (p. 226). Environmentalists revere a wider picture and physical well-being, she also finds (228-29). She says about whales and other natural beings:, "Allow them to develop and unfold." (p. 230). Buddha stands for letting grasses, other plants and trees remain uncut, to fulfil or realise themselves. That is a proper attitude for Mahayanists too, as all forms of Buddhism revere Buddha and his teachings (his dharma). She suggests that it is "likely that if more people put its teachings into practice, this would have an appreciable beneficial effect on nature." (p. 231).

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