Some 25 centuries ago, on the morning of December 8th, by the Japanese Buddhist
calendar, one Siddhartha Gotama Shakya, while sitting in meditation under a fig tree, woke up to the reality of life and the world.
This waking up to reality made him the Buddha Shakyamuni, the “Awakened Onesage of the Shakyas”. The specific type of fig tree under which he sat became known as the Bodhi Tree, in good old Latin – ficus religiosa.
In the good old tradition of Tony Robins many people then tried to imitate the Buddha’s actions and sat under a Bodhi Tree for hours on and, often falling asleep instead of waking up. One of the problems with sitting under THE Bodhi Tree was simple logistics – there is just finite space under one fig tree, even a special one.
So what to do?
The principle of homeopathic was adopted that the essence of this tree could be passed on even in very high dilutions. So, the essence of this one tree in Bodhgaya, India was taken, in form of a leaf, and planted in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. A branch of that tree was then given to a Mary Foster to be planted in the Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu, Hawaii.
A branch from that tree was given to the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) and grew joyously in its botanical garden.
Now the camera zooms in on Max, who, some dozen years ago, was in charge of part of UCLA’s computer systems, and who enjoyed his lunch break in that very UCLA botanical garden. This is how one little branch of that 4th generation bodhi tree ended up in a glass of water in your’s truly house – with the plan for this branch to sprout some roots so that it could be planted and supply the space – in some twenty or thirty years – to mediate under, in order to finally awake.
It was a very difficult birth and early childhood for this fifth generation of bodhi tree indeed. Only with the greatest care was there finally a five-inch baby tree growing in a planter – only to be used by painters as a weight for their tarp when slapping paint on the house. The poor baby tree was beaten up, splattered with paint and almost died.
I nearly gave up there, but we started one last attempt, and this attempt coincided with the birth of our son Zen, who apparently chose his name because he had none of it and it was the goal of this life to gain some – Zen, I mean.
Surprisingly, growing up together, Zen and the bodhi tree, worked like a charm and after two years the tree had already surpassed the child as the picture above shows. The gap in size increased over the years and ten years later the child made to a bit over five feet but the tree grew to at least twenty.
I now have doubts that I will ever sit under this tree to suddenly awake, as the house might have to find a different owner and this tree can certainly not be transplanted. We also learned that by the type of Buddhism practiced in Thailand we made a mistake in planting this tree in our yard – these trees are reserved for temples and monks! But we did some ceremony/exorcism so smooth the waves. The tree is now wearing come colorful clothes around its trunk and all is OK.
Now your call to action – if you always wanted to have a house with a Bodhi Tree to sit under and meditate, now is the time to get in touch with me – going once, going twice, …