Spiritual Interludes


Silent but Perceptive Beings Deserving of Our Love


By Brother-initiate Fu Yong-gang, Nantou, Formosa (Originally in Chinese)



One day when Master was giving a discourse at the Hsihu Center, She abruptly changed the topic to say gravely, “Take good care of your children. Don’t let them hang hammocks on branches that are too thin.” She then returned to Her original subject and finished Her talk, after which the crowd dispersed and I began pondering Her remark. Next I passed by the mango tree in front of the Center’s book circulation area and saw several guards trying to fix branches that had been broken by hammocks. “Oh! A tree was injured. When a plant suffers pain our Master, Who is one with all of Creation, immediately feels the same way,” I thought.

However, unlike Master, most people fail to realize that flowers, grass and trees are sentient beings with spiritual consciousness and sensory perceptions. Much less do they understand the truth that “all beings are one.” But whenever I see children recklessly hitting plants with sticks, I always feel deeply hurt, especially when I cannot persuade them to stop. Scientists have demonstrated that plants are capable of sensory awareness and respond much like humans under certain conditions, and my past experiences also tell me that plants react to tender love and care.

For example, a friend once gave me a small bonsai tree as a gift. But being busy at work, I often forgot to water the plant, for which I felt very sorry. So I decided to bring it to my office, and that day, as soon as I got home I ran to the bonsai and said to it happily and with a pure heart, “Tomorrow I’ll take you to my office as my companion!” I then reached out to touch the tree, but before I could do so, I quickly retracted my hand as I was amazed at what I saw. Glittering dots of light had appeared around the leaves! At first, I thought something was wrong with my eyes so I reached out my hand again to see if the experience had been real and the same thing happened; tiny glittering spots of light covered the plant beautifully just like little light bulbs on a Christmas tree. It was a breathtaking sight! I next repeated my action several times, and the result was the same each time. It seemed that the plant was responding blissfully because it sensed my joy and concern for its well-being. I asked my daughter to come over and she too saw the same wonderful sight, and in silence the three of us shared and enjoyed our mutual ecstasy.

Now, each time my eyes are sore from prolonged staring at my computer monitor, looking at the plant pleases me and relaxes my eyes and reminds me not to bury myself in work for too long. And each day as I leave for home, I place the little tree outdoors to be nourished by the evening dew or by the sunshine on holidays and feel happy about benefiting both the plant and myself.

My experience with the sensitive, glittering bonsai tree affirms Master’s views that all entities have consciousness, feelings and powers of perception and that all beings are equal. And as such, how can we ever think of thoughtlessly harming or destroying any of our brothers and sisters in the animal and plant kingdoms?