Thich Nhat Hanh began with a story:
One day I was practicing mindful movement in a wood with the people of our community, he said softly. Everyday we practice this, walking slowly, mindfully, to enjoy every step; then we sit down. One day, I suddenly realized that the tree standing in front of me allowed my movement to be possible. I saw very clearly that I was able to breathe in because of its presence in front of me. It was standing there for me, and I was breathing in and out for the tree. I saw this connection very profoundly.
In my tradition we speak of interbeing. We cannot be by ourself alone; we must be with everything else, he continued. So, for example, we inter-are with a tree: if it is not there, we are not there either.
In the Diamond Sutra the Buddha advises us to consider four notions: the notions of self, of humanity, of living beings, and of life span. He also advises that the practice of removing these notions from mind is not difficult; anyone can do it.
I have a couple of books by this man. I love the way he expresses himself. Simply and directly. And, I have to add, if you are guitar player you have a natural reverence for trees, because without them…