Going Undercover With Africa’s Premier Anti-Poaching Unit

Images from the raid, where the Zambian, despite having one hand already cuffed, resists arrest.

Busting open the black-market ivory trade in Malawi and Zambia

by Joseph Haldeman

In a pink motel room just a few miles from the ZambiaMalawi border in landlocked Southeastern Africa, two European men count stacks of local currency across a floral bedspread: 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 Zambian kwacha, which comes out to roughly $5,000.

A third man watches like a casino pit boss from a plastic armchair, his foot resting on a giant suitcase. He’s a wealthy Zambian with a body builder’s physique, gold jewelry and designer pink polo shirt. He keeps checking his phone and telling the other men to hurry up.

“I lost count again,” one of them, Matthieu, responds in a thick French accent.

All of a sudden, two plainclothes police officers storm through the doors pointing AK-47s in all directions.

Matthieu and his partner Mark, a tall lean Brit, take their cue and jump. Even with one of them on his back and a taser to his chest, the Zambian still lands several punches before slamming into the bathroom sink, knocking it off the wall with his hip. Matthieu’s shirt rips during the scuffle, exposing a giant tattoo of the French Airborne Paratroopers’ emblem over his heart.

“Give up! There’s a whole team outside!” Mark yells.

A policeman fires a warning shot outside, and the Zambian quits resisting.

Police discover two more accomplices in the motel parking lot as they attempt to flee in a silver Corolla. One of them is merely a driver, but the other is Bridget Banda, a well-connected figure in Zambia’s judicial system. The police instantly recognize her from a print-out of her WhatsApp profile photo, taken from the personal account she used to arrange the entire deal with Matthieu over months of correspondence.

Unlike the Zambian, Bridget and her driver don’t resist. In handcuffs, they’re led into the motel room.

Bridget Banda, who is the architect of the ivory deal, pictured with her two accomplices and the 80 pounds of ivory they intended to sell.

Matthieu finally sorts through the giant tarpaulin. One by one, he pulls out the long, tapering objects contained inside — each of which is cream-colored and caked with the rust brown of African soil, blood or both.

“Nine tusks.”

That adds up to about 80 pounds of illegal ivory, which in Hong Kong, the world’s largest ivory market, will fetch nearly $40,000. There, the tusks are polished white and carved into necklaces, combs, alligators, Buddhas, and of course, elephants, before being sold in one of the hundreds of retailers across the city.

“Four and a half pairs. That’s at least five dead elephants,” Mark says.

One of the tusks is smaller than the others.

“A female?”

A police officer shakes his head.

“A younger one.”

Last September, The Great Elephant Census—a research organization funded by Paul G. Allen, the internationally renowned philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, published the most extensive study of the African elephant to date. The report (a result of 9,700 hours of flight surveys over 18 counties) estimated a loss of 144,000 Savanna elephants in just seven years. Almost a third of the entire population had vaporized due to poaching. One of the nations hit hardest was Malawi, where Matthieu and Mark currently work.

According to the World Bank’s GDP per capita ratings, Malawi is the fifth-poorest nation on the planet. Making matters worse, last year, a global El Niñobrought a significant drought to Southern Africa that devastated Malawi’s small agrarian economy, crippled the production of its key export (tobacco) and drove up the price of the staple of its diet (corn). It also meant fewer watering holes in the county’s expansive national parks, condensing the migration of its wildlife.

So not only is poaching a tempting way to make money, it’s far easier than usual, too. In Kasungu National Park, for instance, only one vast watering hole remains in the entire 900-square-mile reserve. Two large elephant families visit it around 11 a.m. every single day.

They’re beyond low-hanging fruit.

It’s alongside this watering hole — in a humble brick and plywood house — where Matthieu lives. When he first moved there in 2012, he could hear gunshots almost every night. The park had been left virtually unguarded for years, and the elephant population — at around 3,000 in 1970 — was down to a mere 42 animals.

His job, like Mark’s, is to reverse this trend. They work as undercover agents in an elite anti-poaching unit under the leadership of former South African Special Forces Commander Mike Labuschagne, a man with a long history of military experience in African conflict zones and a reputation for toughness. In the late 1980s, he fought Cuban forces alongside guerrilla factions in Angola. (“The Cold War wasn’t so cold here,” he says.) Afterward, he contracted for a number of private military operations that targeted illegal gold mines, before a friend suggested he try anti-poaching in 1992…

more…

https://melmagazine.com/going-undercover-with-africas-premier-anti-poaching-unit-ab9e5c309c0c

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WHAT THE FUCK ?

Does This Look NORMAL To You? Click Here

Engineered Western Meltdown To Cool The East

Western fires

 

 

 

 

 

Dane Wigington
geoengineeringwatch.org

The weather warfare being waged against the US population continues to escalate. Due to the highly toxic fallout, weather warfare is also biological warfare against the entire web of life. How hot is it going to be under the completely engineered high pressure heat dome in the West? Record shattering. Is it any wonder the Western states are burning to the ground? This includes Alaska where more than 200 wildfires are burning as of late June.

heat map

The engineered high pressure zone facilitates the jet stream manipulation the climate engineers are after. By pushing the upper level winds up and over (north of) the heat dome, the winds then spin clockwise around the high pressure. A large “dip” in the jet stream is then formed, which contributes to yet another engineered cool-down in the Eastern US which is scheduled for late this week.  Though the Western US could be considered a “climate sacrifice zone”, available data indicates the West is also a target for engineered drought.

high pressure

The latest NOAA map below will look very familiar to any that have reviewed my past articles documenting the geoengineering assault against the US, but this map is new and simply reflects the exact same climate engineering scenario being repeated again, and again, and again. Though there has also been heat in the Northeast, the climate engineers have “scheduled” a cool-down. The Western US is baked and burned while the Eastern half of the country gets the engineered cool-down.

NOAA temps

Each color shade in the NOAA map represents a deviation of 2-3 degrees or more above or below “normal” (depending on the shade). The West will be 20 to 30 degrees above normal, the East will be be nearly 20 degrees below normal (this map is for the forecast for the period from June 28th through July 2nd).

It is important to consider that “official” high temperatures are consistently being UNDERREPORTED by 4 to 5 degrees. This means it is actually far warmer than what is being disclosed (which is already at critical levels). How bad is the global climate situation? Much worse than most yet comprehend, this fact is now becoming all but impossible to hide. Americans in the Eastern US need to look at the global picture in order to gain an accurate perspective on reality. How cold is the rest of the world?  2014 was the warmest year on record and 2015 is on pace to shatter that record. The GISS surface temperature departure from normal map below represents the combined data for the past 2 years. What is the most anomalously below normal temperature zone in the world? For over two years it has been the eastern half of the North American continent.

GISS

The entire global climate system has been derailed, there is no completely natural or untainted weather, none. The ongoing scenario in the US lower 48 is as meteorologically unnatural as it is unprecedented. There are many agendas being carried out by the weather makers, one is the manipulation of US population’s perception of the climate. At the core of the weather warfare that is being waged is, of course, the agenda of total power and total control, this must always be remembered and considered. I have repeatedly documented the radical “fry/freeze” scenario being continuously engineered in the US lower 48. The climate science community, of course, will not speak about the geoengineering elephant in the room so they just claim not to know or understand why the Eastern US is cool while most of the world isn’t. The bottom line is this, we are all in a fight for life, every one of us is needed in the effort to sound the alarm. Exposing and halting climate engineering MUST be our top priority.
DW

http://www.rense.com/

http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/engineered-western-meltdown-to-cool-the-east/

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How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way

How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way
Photo by Kate Brady http://tricy.cl/2dK2twW

Kill that impulse! Here are compassionate Buddhist solutions for your favorite pests, without killing them.

By Allan Badiner
Good news and bad news. The bad news first: No, you do not have special dispensation from the Buddha to murder those obnoxious little rodent and insect pests that are somehow capable of terrorizing beings thousands of times their size, when all they want is a little food, water and a place to get cozy up with their mates.
The good news is that with a little extra effort, you can rid yourself of these unwelcome guests (ants, mice, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, etc) and feel the karmic joy of living in the light of the dharma!

“Dharma” means truth and the teachings, and it is also the word for nature itself.  The Venerable Narada Mahathera tells us that as nature is the manifestation of truth, and of the teachings, we should cultivate kindness and compassion for all, trying not to kill or cause injury to any living creature, even the tiniest creature that crawls at our feet, and bites them.

Of course precepts, or guidelines for following the dharma, are training principles, and Buddhists undertake to observe them to the best of their abilities.  At times certain conditions may not allow us to rigidly adhere to the precepts and no one can live through life without ever breaking them.  It is at such times that we must use our common sense and human intelligence to make the best decisions.

In Buddhism there is a long held and integral tradition of caring for animals and all living creatures. They are regarded in Buddhist thought as sentient beings, different than humans in their intellectual ability but no less capable of feeling suffering, fearing death, and craving life. Vasubandhu, a 4th century Indian scholar-monk and one of the most prominent figures in Buddhist history, said that it is deluded to kill even poisonous pests, and Asoka, the Buddhist King of India, posted edicts that included a prohibition on the killing of vermin of all kinds.

At the time of the Buddha, rules were made against monks wandering about in the rainy season in part due to the damage done to so many creatures rising to the surface of wet soil for a drink. The same applied to the cutting of trees that were seen as essential to the lives of many animals large and small (known as “breathers”). Asoka planted shade trees, medicinal herbs and wayside wells for both humans and animals. This culture of non-harming, and recognition of the right to life enjoyed by all sentient beings contributes to what makes a monastery or Buddhist temple feel so safe and welcoming to all.

Robert Thurman tells of the great India scholar-monk Asanga from the 5th century CE who at that point, had been meditating in a cave for 12 years, unsuccessfully, in order to gain a vision of the Bodhisattva Maitreya, the future Buddha and the embodiment of loving kindness.  One day he saw a stray dog afflicted with maggot infested sores. Fearing that pulling the maggots off the dog would harm them, he expended great effort to coax them off the sore and onto his warm and moist tongue where they could feed on his own flesh.  At this point, both the dog and the maggots disappeared, and a full and splendorous image of Maitreya appeared where the dog had once been.

Meanwhile, just by walking in the forest or breathing the air, we are taking the life of many small creatures. We inadvertently kill hundreds of insects on a nighttime car ride. We wipe out thousands of bacteria, also sentient beings, daily when we shower and brush our teeth and disinfect our homes.  Generally, there has been a strong element of practicality in Buddhism relative to the extent people are expected to go to avoid any and all killing.

This is one way that the Middle Path distinguished itself from Jainism, where the most devoted of followers would shun clothing, wear masks to filter out airborne creatures, and sweep their path before letting their feet touch the ground. The Buddhist approach to ahimsa, or non-harming, in the realm of small animals and microorganisms, was to exercise all reasonable measures to avoid needless or avoidable killing—recognizing that these creatures too want to eat and avoid harm. In fact, humans are not apart from the world of microorganisms, and are made up of many smaller beings living on us and within us.

Nevertheless, as Buddhist scholar Brian Peter Harvey explains, to kill or harm another being, whether it is a rat or a cockroach or a horse, is to ignore the fragility and aspiration for happiness that one has in common with it. This violates the dharma of interdependence, and compassion. The Buddha made no distinction between the sizes of the victim (cow or ant) or between intentions in killing (self-defense or hunting for pleasure). However, Buddhism focuses heavily on intention, so that all acts of killing are not necessarily equally blameworthy. However, its stronger emphasis on compassion insures that not harming other beings is always praiseworthy…

more…

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/kill-impulse-compassionate-solutions-your-favorite-pest/

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Fractal: A Magnificent Supercell Thunderstorm Timelapse by Chad Cowanby Christopher

For the last decade, Kansas-based photographer Chad Cowan has driven almost 100,000 miles across the United States chasing powerful supercell thunderstorms and recording them in high definition. The endeavor began as a personal project to capture a few storms as they developed but quickly grew into a full-blown obsession. Cowan has recorded hundreds of storms and condensed the highlights into this short film titled Fractal with editing help from Kevin X Barth. He shares about the nature of thunderstorms:

The ingredient based explanation for supercell thunderstorms cites moisture, wind shear, instability and lift as the reasons for their formation. I prefer to focus on the big picture. Supercell thunderstorms are a manifestation of nature’s attempt to correct an extreme imbalance. The ever ongoing effort to reach equilibrium, or viscosity, is what drives all of our weather, and the force with which the atmosphere tries to correct this imbalance is proportional to the gradient. In other words, the more extreme the imbalance, the more extreme the storm.

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/05/fractal-a-magnificent-supercell-thunderstorm-timelapse-by-chad-cowan/

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New York Under Water

Robinson_BR-3

ILLUSTRATION BY STEPHAN MARTINIERE

Science-fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson paints a vivid picture of life in New York City after the sea level rises more than 50 feet, drowning lower Manhattan and creating a forest of skyscrapers in his new book, New York 2140.

Your future commute to work is on a boat.

1

Numbers often fill my head. While waiting for my building’s morose super to free my Jesus bug from the boathouse rafters where it had spent the night, I was looking at the little waves lapping in the big doors and wondering if the Black-Scholes formula could frame their volatility. The canals were like a perpetual physics class’s wave-tank demonstration— backwash interference, the curve of a wave around a right angle, the spread of a wave through a gap, and so on—it was very suggestive as to how liquidity worked in finance as well.

Too much time to give to this question, the super being so sullen and slow. New York parking! One can do nothing but practice patience. Eventually the zoomer was mine to step into, off the boathouse dock and then out the doorway onto the shadowed surface of the Madison Square bacino. Nice day, crisp and clear, sunlight pouring down the building canyons from the east.

As on most weekdays, I hummed the bug east on Twenty-third into the East River. It would have been shorter to burble south through the city canals, but even just past dawn the southward traffic on Park was terrible, and would only get worse at the Union Square bacino. Besides I wanted to fly a little before settling in to work, I wanted to see the river shine.

I turned and thwopped across some big barge wakes, then hummed and gurgled into the city.

The East River too was busy with its usual morning traffic, but there was still room in the fast southbound lane to plane up onto the Jesus bug’s curving hydrofoils and fly. As always the lift off the water was exhilarating, a rise like a seaplane taking off, some kind of nautical hard-on, after which the boat flew over its magic carpet of air some six feet off the river, with only the two streamlined composite foils shearing through the water below, flexing constantly to maximize lift and stability. A genius of a boat, zooming downriver in the autobahn lane, ripping through the sun-battered wakes of the slowpokes, rip rip rip, man on a mission here, out of my way little bargie, got to get to work and make my daily bread.

 Robinson_BR
WATERWAYS: Current-day Venice provides a sneak peak at what a future commute in New York City could look like, if sea level rises sufficiently.juliohdez / Pixabay

If the gods allow. I could take losses, could get shaved, get hosed, take a hammering, blow up—so many ways to say it!—although all were unlikely in my case, being well hedged and risk averse as I am, at least compared to many traders out there. But the risks are real, the volatility volatile; in fact it’s the volatility that can’t be factored into the partial differential equations in the Black-Scholes family, even when you shift them around to account for that quality in particular. It’s what people bet on, in the end. Not whether an asset price will go up or down—traders win either way—but just how volatile the price will be.

All too soon my jaunt downriver got me offshore of Pine Canal, and I cut back on the jet and the bug plopped down into ordinary boathood, not like a goose crashing down, as in some hydrofoils, but gracefully, with nary a splash. After that I turned and thwopped across some big barge wakes, then hummed and gurgled into the city, moving at about the pace of the breaststrokers braving the toxicity in their daily suicide salute to the sun. The Pine Canal Seebad was weirdly popular, and they did indeed “see bad,” pods of old breaststrokers in full wetsuits and face masks, hoping the benefits of the aquatic exercise and the flotation itself counteracted the stew of heavy metals they inevitably took on. Got to admire the aqualove of anyone willing to get into the water anywhere in the greater New York harbor region, and yet of course people still did it, because people swim in their ideas. A great attribute of the species when it comes to trading with them.

The hedge fund I work for, WaterPrice, had its New York offices occupying all of the Pine Tower at Water and Pine. The building’s waterbarn was four stories tall, the big old atrium now filled with watercraft of all types, hanging like model boats in a child’s bedroom. A pleasure to see the foils curving under my trimaran’s hulls as it was hoisted into place for the day. A nice perk, boathouse parking, if expensive. Then up the elevator to the thirtieth floor and over to the northwest corner, where I settled into my aerie, looking through a scattering of skybridges midtown, and the superscrapers looming uptown in all their gehryglory.

2

The intertidal zone of lower midtown sloshed back and forth over an area with a lot of old landfill, and that double whammy had brought a lot of buildings down. Thirtieth to Canal was a wilderness of slumped, tilted, cracked, and collapsed blocks. A house built on sand cannot stand…

more…

http://nautil.us/issue/49/the-absurd/new-york-under-water

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Toxic Exposure: Chemicals are in Our Water, Food, Air and Furniture

by University of California, San Francisco

When her kids were young, Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., MPH, knew more than most people about environmental toxics. After all, she was a senior scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But even she never dreamed, as she rocked her children to sleep at night, that the plastic baby bottles she used to feed them contained toxic chemicals that could leach into the warm milk. 

Back then, in the late 1990s, it wasn’t widely known that the chemicals used in plastic sippy cups and baby bottles can potentially disrupt child development by interfering with the hormone system. That, in turn, could alter the functionality of their reproductive systems or increase their risk of disease later in their lives.

“When I had babies, I did many of the things we now tell people not to do,” says Woodruff, who for the past decade has been the director of UC San Francisco’s Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE). Also a professor in the University’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, she earned her doctorate in 1991 from a joint UCSF-Berkeley program in bioengineering and then completed a postgraduate fellowship at UCSF.

Woodruff’s children have since grown into physically healthy teenagers, but many children are not as lucky. Unregulated chemicals are increasing in use and are prevalent in products Americans use every day. Woodruff is concerned by the concurrent rise in many health conditions, like certain cancers or childhood diseases, and the fact that the environment is likely to play a role in those conditions. What motivates her is the belief that we need to know more about these toxics so we can reduce our exposure to the worst of them and protect ourselves and our children from their harmful effects. (Woodruff points out that the word “toxics” as a noun means any poisonous substances, from either chemical or biological sources, whereas “toxins” are poisons only from biological sources, either plant or animal.)

The PRHE is dedicated to identifying, measuring and preventing exposure to environmental contaminants that affect human reproduction and development. Its work weaves together science, medicine, policy and advocacy.

For example, research over the past 10 years by UCSF scientists and others has showed that bisphenol A (BPA) – an industrial chemical used since the 1950s to harden plastics in baby bottles, toys and other products – is found in the blood of those exposed to items made with BPA and that it can harm the endocrine systems of fetuses and infants. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlawed BPA in baby products in 2012, and some manufacturers developed BPA-free products. But now scientists believe the chemicals that replaced BPA may be just as harmful. 

Furthermore, BPA is only one in a long, long list of chemicals we encounter every day in our homes, schools, workplaces and communities. And scientists have barely scratched the surface of understanding them. Of the thousands and thousands of chemicals registered with the EPA for use by industry, the agency has regulated only a few. 

“In the last 50 years, we have seen a dramatic increase in chemical production in the United States,” Woodruff explains. Concurrently, there’s been an increase in the incidence of conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, childhood cancers, diabetes and obesity. “It’s not just genetic drift,” Woodruff maintains.

And we’re all at risk from increasing chemical exposure. The water we run from our taps, the lotion we smear on our skin, the shampoo we rub in our hair, even the dust in our houses is full of synthetic chemicals.

Preventing exposure in babies

PRHE experts do more than just measure such trends. They also collaborate with clinical scientists and obstetricians at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG), so their findings directly benefit pregnant patients. “We partner with the clinical scientists,” explains Woodruff, “because they look at treatments for disease, and environment might be a missing factor in the cause and prevention of disease.”

Though environmental toxics affect us all, there’s a reason PRHE focuses on pregnant women and children, Woodruff adds. Exposure to even tiny amounts of toxic substances during critical developmental stages can have outsize effects. So exposure to toxics is especially detrimental to fetuses, infants and young children, as well as preteens and teenagers.

“If you prevent the problem at the beginning, you get a lifetime of benefits,” says Woodruff.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began measuring human exposure to chemicals in 1976. These so-called “biomonitoring” studies found a range of toxics in subjects’ blood and urine – substances like DDT, BPA, air pollutants, pesticides, dioxins and phthalates. Phthalates, for example, are a class of chemicals known to be endocrine disruptors but widely used as softeners in plastics and as lubricants in personal-care products. Biomonitoring has determined that women of reproductive age evidence higher levels of phthalates than the population at large. One reason, says Woodruff, is that young women use more products like perfume, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner.

Woodruff herself recently led a study in which UCSF researchers collected blood samples from pregnant women at ZSFG. After the women delivered their babies, the researchers collected umbilical cord blood samples – and discovered that almost 80 percent of the chemicals detected in the maternal blood samples had passed through the placenta to the cord blood. It was the most extensive look yet at how the chemicals that pregnant women are exposed to also appear in their babies’ cord blood (and followed an earlier study by Woodruff that marked the first time anyone had counted the number of chemicals in the blood of pregnant women). Published in the Nov. 1, 2016, print edition of Environmental Science and Technology, the study also found that many chemicals were absorbed at greater levels by the fetuses than by the pregnant women…

more…

https://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2017/06/toxic-exposure-chemicals-are-our-water-food-air-and-furniture

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Why Trees Are The Ultimate Meditation Teachers

Why Trees Are The Ultimate Meditation TeachersPhoto by Eric Parks | https://tricy.cl/2s3whKb

In Buddhism, trees have long been recognized as living things worthy of recognition and protection.

By Lauren Krauze

Last April, my morning meditation was interrupted by the sounds of whirring chainsaws and clamoring trucks. When I stepped to the window, I noticed three men from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation standing around a large oak tree on the sidewalk in front of my apartment. At first, I thought they were trimming the branches. As I watched them saw off larger and larger sections, I realized they were cutting down the entire tree.

My heart started racing. How could I stop this? I thought of the environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill, who climbed a California redwood tree in 1997 and lived there for nearly two years to save it from being cut down. From my third floor window, I quickly scanned the oak’s upper canopy. It was nearly gone.

I hurried down to the sidewalk and approached the hard-hatted men. “Why are you cutting it down?” I yelled over the chainsaws. A bearded man with icy blue eyes cupped his hand around his ear and leaned toward me. I repeated my question.

He raised his arm and gestured toward the tree, yelling: “It’s dead!” His tone suggested that I had missed something obvious. Dead? The day before I had watched house sparrows and black squirrels scamper along the branches and hide among the tree’s full, healthy leaves. We watched as a thick limb tumbled down through the remaining branches and landed on the street with a thud.

As much as I wanted to intervene, there was nothing I could do. I trudged back upstairs. I closed my apartment windows, but I couldn’t escape the screaming chainsaws. Later, after the trucks pulled away, all that remained was a clean stump and a few small piles of sawdust.

For days, I reflected on my urge to protect the tree every time I walked past the stump. I realized I was trying to repay a kind of guardianship offered to me a long time ago. When I was a kid, three tall and sturdy oak trees grew in my family’s backyard. When I reached my hand out of my open bedroom window, I could graze the tips of their leaves with my fingertips. At night, I remember lying in bed and watching their dark branches sway in and out of the window frame. I liked to think they were waving hello, like witnesses or guards watching over me in the night.

In Buddhism, trees have long been recognized as living things worthy of recognition and protection. Shakyamuni Buddha was born in the lush Lumbini grove and later became enlightened under a bodhi tree. At the end of his life, he also physically passed (parinibbana) while nestled in a grove of sal trees. In Thailand, forest monks perform tree ordination ceremonies as a way to declare trees sacred and conserve the forests. Monks wrap robes around ordained trees and hang signs on their vast trunks that remind others that “to harm the forest is to harm life.”

A meditation teacher once advised me to look to the example trees set as steady, observant beings. “They are excellent meditators,” she said. “They sit in one spot for decades, watching all that goes by.” In his book The Island Within, anthropologist Richard Nelson described trees in a similar manner. “The dark boughs reach out above me and encircle me like arms. I feel the assurance of being recognized, as if something powerful and protective is aware of my presence . . .  I am never alone in this forest of elders, this forest of eyes.”

I sometimes wonder if the stories we impose on trees—and the anthropomorphic qualities we assign them—illuminate our efforts to bring forth the parts of ourselves that are most curious and aware. Not too long ago, I was strolling through a museum with a friend. Her husband had passed away several weeks earlier, and she was grieving and in deep shock. After we stopped to rest on one of the couches in the museum, we gazed out the windows at several small trees growing on a patio…

more…

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/trees-ultimate-meditation-teachers/

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