Stuart Camps speaking about The Mountain of Attention:
When the old people came here from the lake valley each year, to soak in the
healing waters and relax from the hot summer, they also wanted sweet large acorns
to harvest. A long time ago, they began planting valley oak trees all around this
area. We trees have now been here for at least a thousand years, and likely much
longer. Each year, when they returned from other places, the people greeted us,
and looked after us, bringing shells for our roots, and gently burning the forest
floor, keeping the place fresh. They also planted new acorns whenever the forest
required, and sometimes thinned the forest of too many young trees, when they
became too dense in places. The rutting deer, bears, and racoons also helped to
thin out the new saplings. And we cared for the people, too, and the bears and
deer and others... providing the best acorns we could, and giving them shade and
shelter. And their spirit people did ceremonies for us, and with us, connecting all
the beings of the forests and skies together. To varying degrees, everyone lived
within Great Spirit. Century after century we thrived here, up and down these
small valleys. Some of us who still remain today are very old.
One day, not too long ago, another kind of people arrived and began walking
under our canopies. They were noisy and clumsy. They were paler, and their
breathing was shallow. And the old people soon disappeared.
These newer humans cut many of us down, made buildings and roads and gardens.
They stopped tending the forests and enjoying our acorns. The world around us
quickly changed! They then started making large green lawns and began heavy
watering everywhere through the summers. And they began constantly mowing the
lawns, and picnicked and played upon them. Occasionally, some would look up at
us admiringly, perhaps after hearing our "whispers", feeling the Mystery a little. But
mostly, we mattered less and less. And more of us were felled, one-by-one, to
make way for more buildings.
When they first began watering the lawns under our rustling canopies, the cool
water in the middle of summer felt wonderful, soaking all around our roots. But as
the years passed, we gradually began feeling less and less well. Our roots were
never able to dry out in the long summers, as had always been the case before. And
our roots must completely dry in the summer months. Gradually, some of us
began suffering root and trunk rot, and the soil began tasting and feeling empty,
and we felt hungry, and weaker.
Then one day, several cars arrived, and stepping out of one was
a radiantly HAPPY MAN!We had never seen such a Human before.
Not even any of the old people were like Him.
We had felt Him coming some days before He arrived, and when He stepped from
the car, we rushed to Him with our energy. We could not help ourselves. His Love
for us was Amazing! And we all, together, embraced Him under our canopies, with
our limbs stretching toward Him. And we realized another reason why we had
been planted in this place by the old people - it was so that we would be here when
For years, all of us lived in Celebration because He was with us, at last!
For a while, we felt stronger again, forgetting about the watering that continued.
We forgot about the leached and mouldy soils, and the green moss creeping over
our trunks. We simply existed in the Bliss that flowed from Him, as our energies
became more and more yielded in Him.
To us, this MAN had no name, but the people with Him often made the sounds of
"Da" toward Him. We felt those vibrations - a good sound, like the thunder that
comes with winter rains. We did notice that most of the people around Da seemed
very similar to the people before them. They were very busy, running all around,
making roads, moving buildings, making fences, making and watering more lawns
and gardens. But when Da would walk around, the people felt different for a while.
He would sometimes talk to them about the trees - about Us. When He did so,
everyone would become quiet and relaxed, but later they would be noisy and busy
again. One day, Da hugged one of our oldest trees, consecrating it as a Temple
where the people could directly worship the Mystery of Everything. He called that
tree, The Tree of Life, and told everyone... "Worship this tree as My Own Form".
Most people were very happy about this, but a few were confused and concerned.
And He told everyone to take care of all the trees in this place. He talked about
how He regarded the trees, the acorns, the deer, and other creatures as Sacred
manifestations. But apart from these kinds of things, nothing really changed.
The green lawns, gardens, computers, books and other things continued to be
more important than the trees. As always, every Autumn we dropped our leaves to
gently blanket and nourish the earth, and our acorns to cultivate new trees for the
future and feed the animals. Whenever this happened each year, crews of people
came to rake up all the leaves and acorns, taking away these vital things. And
through the winter the earth was naked under the cold - all the leaves were gone!
All the mowing through the spring and summer also cut and killed ALL the new
oaks trying to grow, leaving none to mature... The old people knew about these
things and knew how to care for us and talk to us. They listened to us and we
listened to them. We continually learned from, and loved, each other. Remembering the old people, we missed them, and felt less and less safe. So much
raking, watering, and activity all the time. These pale people were crazy and
dangerous. Eventually, some of us started falling over. And more of us were cut
down. For many years, our soils were kept constantly wet, and emptied of life
force. More and more of us began developing root fungus, and root rot.
When the Happiest Man first arrived most of Us were still coping fairly well with
all the years of previous neglect and mis-treatment, and our canopies were still
thick and looked lush, covering large areas in summer shade. And we felt that His
arrival would bring change. But that did not happen. The people did not listen to
Him, and now, years later, our numbers have so drastically reduced that our
canopy is now about one 3rd of what it was.
But we have now found a way to write this letter to say some things... for His sake,
to serve Da's intentions as best we can. We hope that people - all of Da’s present
human followers - will listen...
We, Da's Great Sacred Forest, are the living tree people of His
Mountain Sanctuary. We were born here, and waited for Him.
One thing He wanted to do was completely change, and deepen,
the way that humans relate to non-humans - to trees, animals,
and all the natural contemplatives. We were here and ready for
your participation. We needed the service and participation of
Da's humans, but you did not show up for this part of His Work.
You did not listen to Him, or to us. And now most of us are dying
right in front of you. The Sanctuary will soon be bereft of trees. If
this happens it will never be the same again.
And all around the world great change is needed...
A great culture of humanity was intended to arise here, from this
place. We heard him say it. We heard Him tell you about it. And
He told us about it, too.
But after you listened to Him, you never came and talked to us.
All of you could have come together as a great forest of
humankind, serving and protecting everything of Da's. Instead,
you bickered and fought and argued... and splintered. We
watched it all.The time is late now, but not too late. We could still serve the Great
Vision together. We trees cannot do it with just our trunks, leaves,
acorns and roots. And you humans cannot do it with just your
minds and buildings and computers and books. Both cultures
must become combined, or neither will survive much longer. We
have serious root rot in our culture, and your culture has serious
problems as well. Each other's skills and wisdom can heal all of us.
We trees can give a lot to Da's human culture... And you as
humans can bring a great deal of good to us. Together, this can
make Da respected and revered in the world. We can rebuild a
now nearly lost Sacred Forest, which can be a sign to the world.
We can enact a literal change of pattern for the living world. He
said to all of you that you will "Find it in the tree." Do you
The value and credibility of traditional cultures was often
measured by the health of the trees in their region. Are your trees
healthy, or in poor condition? Please look at us, and feel us!
We are your trees, calling to you to help us regain our power and
beauty as a Sacred Forest. We need you. Da spoke of this numbers
of times. And now we are talking to you. Please listen to us…
It is not hard. The old people of lake and valley knew how to do it,
passing it on to their children, generation after generation. And
you can do this too...
So how should we start?
Firstly, come and sit with us... feel us, get to know us. And we will
get to know you better, too. You can learn from us, and we will
learn more of you. And while we are doing this, we ask you to also
start to listen to what Da says about trees, and all non-humans.
Make a real study of it. He said so much about it. And it is then up
to you to decide what you will do -- whether to rebuild this Sacred
Forest and surrounding satellite trees and groups, or not. It all
rests with the whole of you. It will not be enough to leave this
great task to just a few. Your entire culture is needed.
And if you decide to make the leap into rebuilding the forest, Da
Himself laid out the way to do so... Simply follow His instructions with your feeling hearts…
Create a serious Guild and maintain it for generations.
The Guild, once ready, steeped in human/tree contemplative
culture, should then link outward to tree people the world over.
Everyone in Da’s culture should listen to and follow the advice of
the Guild Elders, including advice from outside the group. Be
open to listening and learning from other traditional cultures,
and good science as well. Be of service to people and trees
everywhere... and trees and plants and non-humans of all kinds.
Da told you all that the oak trees of the Sanctuary are the senior
and principal contemplative living beings of the Sanctuary, and
that everything necessary to care for us should be done.
We look forward to our forest being regenerated, and our
canopies again enveloping large swaths of the land, and our
roots becoming healthy once more.
We look forward to the wildlife returning.
And we look forward to a mutually serving tree and human
culture of wisdom, beauty, and grace. Did you know that our
acorns can be made into breads, and our leaves and bark can
become wines and medicinal teas? And our leaves can sing songs!
One final short story:
One day, Da contacted a man named Lee, to come to the
Sanctuary and give his tree advice, which he did. Da appreciated
Lee so much He said that he could visit any of his Sanctuaries, at
any time, to check on the trees.
Da took one part of Lee's advice and gave it to the people as a
Puja of invoking Him while serving the trees. Only a few people
were interested in this... but here is a story for you to consider...
Closely following the advice from Lee and from Da, one man
approached one of the trees with a bucket of mineral wash and a
brush in order to paint the whole trunk up to 10 feet high. He first regarded the tree from a distance so that he could see
and appreciate the entire tree. It was a medium-sized oak, not
one of the very big ones. As he approached, he started talking to
the tree, praising and thanking it. And then he started painting
the white paste onto the trunk, breathing and feeling the Mystery
while he brushed up and down.
At first, he noticed that his mind was racing full of thoughts,
which went on for a while, but he kept painting and returning
attention to the tree and the Mystery. Gradually, and then
suddenly, his thoughts were gone, his self-sense was gone, his
heart and body opened. There was no one there. No person. No
tree. No time or place. No words or thoughts. No memory. All
vanished in a Joy! And there was only the Mystery, painting itself.
Through the man's bodily service, the contemplative tree was able
to draw the person beyond himself and into the meditative
surrender of all trees, to a degree that is always profound.
This is one more reason, and the main reason, why Da requested
the integration of human culture with the Sacred tree cultures.
If this can be embraced by everyone, we can change and heal a
great deal... There literally can be no authentic human culture,
secular or sacred, without the participation and sacred embrace