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Great Trees of Great Friend

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

He arrived!

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

remember?

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

of trees.




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