Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Growth Haiku written by @kenchawkin and his son Nathanael Chawkin @integralsensei

November 26, 2017

The vegetation in Santa Barbara is varied and lush, with many exotic succulent plants, beautiful flowering bushes, and tall trees. I share my admiration for them as we drive through the city. Nathanael comments: “A tree can only grow as high as its roots go deep.” I write it down and start converting the idea into the first two lines of a haiku. I tell him we need a third line to complete it. After pondering the question for a moment, he recalls a universal phrase from the somatic arts (yoga, dance, martial arts) that his friend and coaching colleague LeeAnn Mallory had shared with him: “Root to rise.” I turn it into the last line to complete this short poem on a basic principle of growth.

Trees for Growth Haiku

Growth Haiku

Trees can only grow
as high as their roots go deep
Root yourself to rise

© Ken and Nathanael Chawkin
Santa Barbara, California
Thanksgiving Day
November 23, 2017

Maharishi always talked about developing 200% of life—100% inner spiritual development and 100% outer material accomplishments. We both say, “Water the root to enjoy the fruit.” Nathanael quotes the SCI Principle, “Outer depends on Inner.” I remember an early analogy: To erect a tall building you have to first dig a deep foundation. It’s similar to: First pull the arrow back on the bow to hit the target. Meditate then act. Established in Being, perform action.

Nathanael does more than just meditate to develop his inner life and establish it on a firmer foundation for living mindfully. Self-inquiry with The Work, various martial arts, and playing classical piano are ways he better understands and integrates himself as a person. He uses an integral approach to inform his work as a martial arts instructor (Integral Martial Arts) and a leadership coach and organizational development consultant (Palæstra).

NB: Nathanael also helped edit this post—a father and son collaboration.

Related: Growth, a spontaneous haiku/tanka @kenchawkin.

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Canadian artist Greg Thatcher goes to Painswick every summer to paint its famous yew trees

August 23, 2012

Stroud News and Journal, 4:00pm Tuesday 7th August 2012 in News Canadian artist travels to Painswick every year to paint its famous yew trees by Hayley Mortimer, Reporter

A CANADIAN artist has travelled to Painswick to paint its famous yew trees.

Greg Thatcher, 63, who lives in Iowa, has been painting the trees at St Mary’s Church for more than 20 years and works on location from June to August every year.

The yew trees were planted in the Middle Ages and Mr Thatcher says they form the most beautiful yew tree avenues in the world.

He first saw them in a travel brochure while working in Lancashire in 1991.

At first, he worked from photographs but after visiting the churchyard he was inspired by the different shapes and intricate details.

Mr Thatcher said: “I have been drawn to them. I just keep seeing deeper and deeper levels of where I can start. It is an ongoing relationship.

“The process is very stimulating and nourishing to my creativity and imagination.

“Even after 20 years I am still finding more angles and more information to work with.

“I love Painswick and enjoy coming back each year. My trips have been pivotal to my career. It has given me access to a unique and inspiring landscape.”

Mr Thatcher spends between six and eight hours a day working on the drawings and many take more than 350 hours to complete.

He and his wife stay a mile away from the churchyard so Mr Thatcher can cycle to and from the site every day.

Mr Thatcher teaches art and art history to children aged 13 to 17 in a small school in Iowa.

He has a bachelor of fine art from the University of Victoria and a masters in painting and drawing from the University of Saskatchewan.

A series of drawings of the yew trees has been exhibited in the United States, Canada, England and France and his work hangs in corporate and private collections across the world.

For more information go to www.gregthatchergallery.com.

You can see photos of Greg, the trees, and his drawings in the online article bit.ly/Rg2k25, and in a pdf of Inspiration found under the boughs.

What Do Trees Do? Something to think about

August 2, 2010

Since we’re on the subject of trees, and comments about them, here’s something I wrote about 15 years ago when I was living in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I was renting an upstairs room in a boarding house. Looking outside my window onto the backyard I saw the tops of large evergreen trees. I remembered reading about the special qualities of trees, and with the destruction of forests, decided to tell their story in the form of a childlike rhyme. Something to think about……

What Do Trees Do?

What do trees do?
I wonder? Do you?

We purify water. We purify air.
We take all the stress out of the atmosphere.
We store up the knowledge of all of the ages.
We acknowledge the gifts of all of the sages.
They kept cool and rested under our arms.
We were their shelter from all of life’s harms.

We hold up your children as they swing on our boughs.
When it rains, we keep animals dry, especially cows.
We give you our wood to build for your homes.
We make room for squirrels, birds, elves, and gnomes.
We give you sweet fruits and nuts to eat
And rock your babies gently to sleep.
We communicate with stars and bring down their light
And make sure you’re sleeping safely all through the night.

So the next time you’re planning to cut us all down,
Just think; all the good things we do, won’t be around.

And eventually neither will you.
I added this ‘cuz it’s true!

—Ken Chawkin

Also see: Willow Tree – a tanka – from a tree’s perspective

And: Friendship – another tree tanka


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