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Black Elk

Trees & Tiny Houses, Lustful Gazing & the Peace of the Forest

April 8th, 2019

Two things I love: trees and tiny houses. If you don’t have a tiny house you can get some vicarious pleasure through the spiritual practice of ‘lustful gazing’. I first heard about this forbidden secret tantric practice when a member of the family asked for a copy of Cabin Porn for their birthday present. Getting over the shock, I googled it and found it was a project that celebrates Tiny Houses – very inspiring and rather addictive. No wonder the book and website is so popular.

Where can we find trees and small wooden houses mentioned in the same breath in a spiritual context? In one of the earliest instructions on meditation. From more than two thousand years ago, we have the instructions of the Buddha in his ‘Breath-Mindfulness Discourse’ – The Ānāpānasati Sutta – in which he tells us how to meditate: sit in the forest, or at the foot of a tree, or in an empty hut, and focus your attention on your breathing.

And where better to focus on breathing, than being right amongst those wonderful beings who give us the oxygen we need to breathe? We all know the Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment sitting under a tree, as did Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. And of course it’s a favourite pastime of Druids – who are by definition tree-huggers, tree-lovers, tree worshippers.

We explore and experience all this a little in this week’s ‘Tea with a Druid’. And below are two videos you might like: Druid Andy Letcher’s band ‘Telling the Bees’ singing ‘The Worship of Trees’, and one of the many great Tiny House videos produced by ‘Living Big in a Tiny House’. I’ve chosen this one because it shows a very contemporary lifestyle is possible – you don’t have to become a hermit (ok I know it helps that they live in a sunny country). And note the nicely generous lyrics in ‘The Worship of Trees’: “Something deep inside yearns to be free – to worship trees. Church bells ring, I’m so glad they do, but I can’t join in. …just let me run free!”

7 Responses to “Trees & Tiny Houses, Lustful Gazing & the Peace of the Forest”

  1. Hi Philip- what a gorgeous Tea with a Druid- thank you! This runs so close to a piece of synchronicity I experienced with my Bardic course- a beautiful 1000-year-old poem turned up in my studies at exactly the same time as I was working in my paintings with a slightly different version of the same- gleaned from Tim Severin’s book: ‘Viking- Odin’s Child’. Severin’s version runs like this:

    “I have a hut in the woods, none knows it but my Lord; an ash tree this side, a hazel on the other, a great tree on a mound encloses it. Two heathery door posts for support, and a lintel of honeysuckle; around it close the wood sheds its nuts upon fat swine. The size of my hut, small yet not small, a place of familiar paths, the she-bird in its dress of blackbird colour sings a melodious strain from its gable.”

    The call is strong! Thank you for bringing it up!
    Blessings from the Cold Dawn

  2. Wonderful Philip!
    Hyacinth, honeysuckle, winter box…of these perfumes it is possible to tease a dew drop of nectar from the base of the honeysuckle flower by drawing its stamen down and through the flower trumpet to sup her gift of magical fragrant sweetness….another delicious delicate distillation of sunlight.
    Seems apposite to shamelessly share my wife’s mystical off-grid holiday expense spared…

  3. That was a nice session, thank you for that. I love Tiny Houses too, but course i can’t efford one, my equivalent will be to move next year into a 28 qm flat. All the best from Kiel/Germany

  4. Dear Philip,

    I just joined the OBOD in the Bardic course recently and am discovering all that is offered…including the Tea with the Druid sessions. The recent one went straight to my heart.

    I also love the tiny wooden houses, “monitor” the developments for a while and would love to live in a tiny house village as a shared community including a community shared agriculture (CSA). Here is a link to an Austrian project for tiny houses also being self-sufficient – to add to your “tiny house library” 😉

    Thanks a lot for this wonderful meditation. I did it this morning and it prepared me so well for my office day. The Honeysuckle fragrance part reminded me of the Bach Remedy Flower “Honeysuckle” and a very nice powerful place I lived some years ago “kicking of” my spiritual path. Really touched me.

    Have a wonderful evening & blessings,

  5. This week’s Tea with a Druid was close to my heart. I dream of trees and a minimalist life and have my own copy of Cabin Porn. Thank you.


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