• Joe Arnold

Turning people into trees

I’ve recently been contemplating a beautiful quote spoken by the late spiritual teacher, Ram Dass; I’d like to share it with you as I have found it of great benefit:

“When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

Those last 5 words seem most pertinent to me.

If we appreciate everyone ‘just the way they are’, we have no choice but to let go of judgement and fault-finding, and instead view our fellow humans (including ourselves!) through a lens of acceptance, understanding and compassion.

Enjoy turning people into trees!