9/15/2006

Tao of a useless tree

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useless tree -
too old to move,
I just sit here

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A TREE story from Chuang Tzu

A certain carpenter was traveling with his helper. They came to a town where a giant oak tree filled the square. It was huge, with many limbs spreading out; large enough to shade a hundred oxen and its shade covered the entire square. The helper was amazed at the potential lumber contained in this one tree but the carpenter passed it by with a mere glance. When his helper asked him why he had passed up such a magnificent specimen the carpenter replied that he could see at once that the great oak's branches were useless to him.

"They are so hard," he said, "that were I to take my ax to them it would split. The wood is so heavy that a boat made of it would sink. The branches themselves are so gnarled and twisted they cannot be made into plants. If I tried to fashion house beams with it they would collapse. If I made a coffin from it you would not be able to fit someone inside.
Altogether it is a completely useless tree.
And that is the secret of its long life."

Chuang Tzu
in Tales from the Tao: Inspirational Teachings from the Great Taoist Masters
by Solala Towler

Practicing Spirituality with Taoists

http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

From my Haiku Archives



Trees, my best friends .. 巨木

Camphor Tree Kusunoki 楠木 くすのき



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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an interesting story, and the moral behind it! Thank you for sharing this!

I have saved your site in my Favourites file, and one of these days I will add my ku ...
E.

. Gabi Greve said...

dust house dust
dust mites
tears and sniffles


isa in istanbul

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Thanks Isa, very much like old ISSA himself !

GABI

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Narayanan Raghunathan said...

useless tree ~
still it is all
Tao, Mu, Om

. Gabi Greve said...

At September 17, 2006, Narayanan Raghunathan said...

fallen oak
decaying ~ a new
oak sprouts on it

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Thanks for visiting this old tree, Narayanan san !

GABI

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