T H E    B O D H I    T R E E

 


vector d'load

 


A big one

 


collage

 


Leaf maze d'load

Trees are something most people can identify with. There is a lot more awareness around their importance to the health of the planet and it is not difficult to connect trees as shelter - the Buddha meditating under one and - health (mental / physical). One nice aspect of the leaves is their almost heart shaped profile which has obvious symbolic parallels with love (= Truth = happiness, etc.)

One project, which can include other craft work, is making a 'tree.'
Get a dried limb with several branches - the size will be according to availability and the space you have to store it.
Put it in a bucket or can filled with sand or stones so that the whole stands upright.
Decorate with leaves, wheels, stupas, mandalas, streamers, stars, moons, suns, bless it with glitter, etc.
Put a Buddha image sitting underneath the tree. Bless it with more glitter, water, confetti, chanting, incense, bowing, etc.
Have it in the middle of the room (or outside) and circumambulate it - with lights - at night.

With your Buddha image under the tree you can consider / discuss his enlightenment and the temptation of Mara and our own temptations and distractions. Having downloaded the song you can sing it with each verse reflecting one of the things that 'bothers' you.

A Bodhi tree can form an alternative to the usual Christmas tree and have gifts hanging on it or, next to the Buddha, under it. It can be a good opportunity to discuss dana - generosity (in the face of the material machinery thundering about at this time).

Have a look at the amazing Bodhi tree wall hanging and allow yourself to be inspired to make a tree. It can be quite simple - leaves stuck on a bit of paper with a trunk painted on - or more complex.

The collage is the result of a whole afternoon of discussion and collecting and singing and making.

The Buddha was meditating under a tree when he understood the truth and became enlightened. This was in India at a place called Bodh Gaya. The tree is called, in Latin, ficus religiosa, or sacred fig. For Buddhists it is generally called 'The Bodhi Tree.' (Bodhi is another Pali word for enlightenment.) There is a descendant of the original tree still growing at Bodh Gaya and Bodhi trees are commonly found in Buddhist centres all over the world. Bodhi trees, and single bodhi leaves, are a symbol, reminding us of Buddha's enlightenment

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