Archive for March, 2011

The Wooden Circle

… Still, I am not quite sure what it was that drew me closer and closer to this tree, but this circular shape, repeated over and over in Nature, was captivating my eyes and my attention, as if it were a rounded frame protecting a mysterious work of art, or a gnarled and sheltering arch around a secret passageway. Its position in the middle of the oak’s long and lean trunk could not be ignored as some sort of invitation…that is, if one just happened to be in “Deep Seeing” mode, which is so different from the usual fast-paced mind of inner chatter, and racing outer-movement to get to the next and the next and the next task as fast as possible. There is truly so much to SEE around us, and in our culturally “mind-less” rather than “Mindful” state of presence, we often are somewhat sightless to amazing wonders, if not altogether blind to much magical beauty.

There is a saying that if we were to shelve all books of Holy Wisdom for a time and went out to be humbly but fully present in Nature, that we would still learn everything we need to know about living a good and Whole-ly Life. And in the movie  Chocolat, Vivienne spins a carved wooden plate for her customers and  friends, with their secretely wounded Hearts,  and asks them what they “see” in the spinning movement of the dish. Each person when gazing directly into the spinning bowl, begins, unconsciously,  to  “see deeply” within themselves  into the forgotten stories or buried wisdoms of their own lives and in this odd moving mandala meditation, comes to a place of remembering something important , thus  finding a  doorway to inner healing.

And so I came to realize that in like spirit, this sturdy knothole was similar… a kind of  Meditation Mandala in the Oak, and as I came close and  gazed mindfully at it,  the questions about’s shape, its, rings, its textures, its layers and mysterious opening to a deeper place within the tree,  revealed the same questions and pondering about myself and my own life…for what I see and ponder in this living wooden circle, is unique to my own experience.

And so, as YOU mindfully gaze upon this oaken mandala, “seeing deeply” into it…pay attention to what calls your attention and what you are drawn to, what do YOU notice and imagine as you look at it?…this tree, The Oak, is a  sacred and magical one in Celtic and indigenous traditions…it just may have something to teach you too……..(con’t tomorrow, Part 3..The Oaken Portal)

Christine Phoenix-Green (March 2011

The Knothole-Wooden Mandala

**Please respect my ownership of all writings and photos on this site, and  credit me and this source if passing on or sharing this in any way. Copywrited material is part of a book in progress. Thank you

The Oak Beckons

 It had been such a fierce, cold and challenging Winter…snow, ice, frigid pummeling winds. A deep white blanket, frozen and crystalline, covered everything on the ground, taking down branches and limbs, making it almost impossible to walk safely…at least on my little unpaved road.. and making a good excuse to nestle into the comfortable corner of the couch during the dark days, journaling, reading, writing and giving in to the fanciful meanderings of imagination.

On days when the road was passable, driving over to the community library to gather new treasures and stories for company and amusement brightened the unusual confining circumstances of this winter’s harshness. And each time I drove into the lot, it seemed that the only parking spot waiting just for me, was in front of a slim solitary oak, whose welcoming open-armed limbs were still decorated with dried bright orange leaves, most determinedly still clinging to several of the branches. What a joyful, colorful, playful presentation of persistence and strength, those pfeisty leaves, holding on by the thinnest of little stems, and dancing wildly in the fiercest winds that often tore off whole branches!

I am not sure exactly why I was so drawn to this tree, but not once did I enter its Presence without being compelled to stop and look at it deeply, listening attentively as if it was offering to me some sort of secret communication about how to be in this frozen grey, white and brown landscape of Winter.

For sure, it was partially the brightness of the vibrant orange leaves, orange being the color of Wisdom and Wild Creativity, but the more I looked, the more I seemed to sense an invitation to come closer and closer, to look more deeply into the textures, shapes, patterns and the decorative designs of the living wood. And what I also saw then, was not only the beauty, but the woundedness of this tree, where a limb had been purposely cut off, most likely because it reached straight out into the parking lot in the way of incoming cars.

What of this wound, now healed but not an eyesore.. rather, a unique thing of beauty in itself…a mysterious portal, like an arched temple door partially closed over, but yet with the tiniest invitational opening to the depths of the Sanctuary within the tree. What was it that captivated my imagination here and drew my eyes to narrow into a deep-seeing gaze in order to understand something hidden, something new?

And so the Oak, hearing my silent question, wordlessly beckoned:

“Come closer, past the height of me, past my orange leafy twigs, and ponder this wound, this portal…how it came to be, how the Life Force healed me, how I came to claim it and its nobility, how it has become a new story of me, and how it continues to give life, shelter and meaning to others”.

And then, did I do just that, in a series of closer steps and gazes to learn and practice the Secrets of Deep Seeing….into the tree, and into myself…                                                                                                              (to be con’t in Part 2  “The Knothole”)  

Christine Phoenix-Green (March 2011)                                                             

"Come Closer"


*Secrets of Deep Seeing  (Part 2) will follow shortly                    

**Please respect my ownership of all writings and photos on this site, and  credit me and this source if passing on or sharing this in any way. Copywrited material is part of a book in progress. Thank you

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