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vine teacher

August 27, 2008

The mandevilla vine that is growing for me is about 10 or 11 feet long now, I’ve been watcing it for almost 2 years now. I forgive it being pink flowered because it makes so many of them and it grows as fast as grass.

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As I add supports for it I watch what the long searching tendrils do in reaction. They seem suspicious of new things, as if they wonder if they will hold them safely or provide a tall enough height for them. They will touch the support, whatever it is and then will shrink back as if to consider if it’s a good place to start wrapping around. Often it rejects the branch or pole unless it has absolutely no other choice.

A month ago or so, it reached the top of the first pole but kept on growing. It did the smartest thing then. There were 5 or 6 tendrils and the wrapped and spiraled up forming a rope so they could grow straight up almost like a new tree. I thought they might be searching for a new branch or rail or whatever. Eventually it became so heavy it slowly curved down and did another smart thing. It un-twined itself and the different delicate vines spread out in all directions looking for something else to hook onto.

I have tried to train it just a little, really I just want to show it that I’ve put new suports up for it. I will hook the vine around the new stick or pole and wrap it gently. It stays there for a while and then rejects it and goes looking for its own place. Most of the time it comes back and acts as if it has found the new place all on its own, just like a cat.

Of coursre all of this is my imagination about how the vine behaves. How could I know. I don’t like to tink in terms of evolution or instinct, though I am not rejecting them at all. It is just that I can not get the teaching thinking that way.

The teaching is this. The vine thrives and grows all on its own. It doesn’t think “hmmm, maybe if I go left today I’ll find a new branch to grow on”. I don’t think it is even considered a sentient being in Buddhist terms. It is BIG MIND in action. “Spring comes and the grass grows all by itself”. You don’t have to push or pull it. It knows just what to do without thinking and so do I.

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