My thoughts on the oak tree in the courtyard

I found an oak tree while looking through the window of self-awareness. I was planning to live in the present moment when through the window of my mind, I saw this picture of a gigantic oak tree planted deep inside my mind decades ago.

This giant tree took me back to that state of mind when I was looking for meaning in my life. I was rejected, denied and contradicted for so many lesser reasons. They say I am not good with words but the reality is that words are just words they can’t fully express your deepest emotions. Attached emotions to words and we are back to fantasy. This is how we lose reality.

The oak tree in the courtyard symbolised many things for it’s strength and longevity. This is a sacred tree which pays attention to whatever is happening in the present moment and experiencing it without judgement and conclusion.

An oak tree is a symbol of biological and spiritual nourishment, spiritual growth and transformation.

When a monk asked Zhaozhou, an extraordinary Zen master, about the living essence of zen. His answer was simply remarkable and full of wisdom. He replied by pointing towards an oak tree there in the garden.

“A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the living meaning of Zen?.”

Zhaozhou said, “The oak tree in the courtyard.”

Quote source: Case 37 from the Mumonkan (Wumenguan) Collection of Zen Koans
The Oak Tree in the Courtyard.

Here, I would like to mention that the Oak tree is believed to be connected to the movements of the planet Mars. It is determined that when the plant Mars comes close to the Earth, it’s supposed to stimulate the roots of the oak. It’s rightly said to be the symbol of fertility and spiritual growth.

Coming close to Mars strengthen the secret connection of the oak tree with the forest where it is growing. Similarly, when Mars went far away, it is the Sun that promotes upward growth causing the Oak to be one of the largest, most influential trees of the world.

Photo credits: Pexels

There is another anecdote from the tales of the oak tree in the courtyard which is worth mentioning here.

A monk asked Chao-chou, “Has the oak tree Buddha nature?”

Chao-chou said, “Yes, it has.”

The monk said, “When does the oak tree attain Buddhahood?”

Chao-chou said, “Wait until the great universe collapses.”

The monk said, “When does the universe collapse?”

Chao-chou said, “Wait until the oak tree attains Buddhahood.

Quote source: The Gateless Barrier, The Wu-Men Kuan (Mumonkan),
Translated by Robert Aitken, Case 37

In both of these anecdotes what does an oak tree stands for? Let’s figure it out.

The oak tree in the Zhaozhou’s yard stands tall and nourishes the ground underneath. It is clearly understood that one should sit like an oak tree with it’s branches truly lost in the sky and it’s roots deeply spread into the ground.

Standing under a mighty shade of an oak tree in the courtyard doesn’t represent our deflecting feelings and beliefs. It teaches us how to overcome hardship in our lives. The awareness about a problem is not a problem itself. But obsession over what we cannot change is the real problem.

Listen closely and you will find out that the monk asked a very profound question from his master. He was seeking an answer of what is the meaning of zen and the master carefully teaches him about mindfulness, living in the present moment. The oak tree here represents the entire universe. When the whole universe is the oak tree, there is no beginning or no end.


Also read: The angel oak tree & The oak tree and the myth


Sources: The oak tree in the garden and Koan website.


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What is the word for the sound of wind in trees?

Today, I am going to tell you an interesting story that I have heard recently. This is a story of a man named Nasruddin who liked to spend some time under a huge oak tree. An oak tree that happened to be near a field of melons.

He used to question himself while resting under the shade of that huge oak tree and mumbled in silence that everyone believes that…

“The Creator has a grand plan, but if I look closely at this majestic Oak tree which has very small acorns as compared to these angular melon plants with their huge bulky fruits. I think the Creator has made a mistake on this one.”

He was just thinking about this that all of a sudden an acorn fell precisely on his nose and he cried in pain by saying that

“Oh my God! Now I understand the wisdom of the Creator!”

The above story has nothing to do with this post but we should remember, that there is always a spiritual message hidden in every moral story. In this story, we learned in a very witty style from a man called Nasruddin that everything on this planet is made on purpose and there is a reason for our existence.


The tree which moves some to tears of joy


Now coming to the real topic, I would like to say that we find comfort only in the beauty of others, in the poetry of others and so we keep on living torn up between the brief explosions of solitude and self-realization which taste like opium, a kind of drug that when excessively taken can give you a blurred vision or sometimes even hallucination.

We are people rinsed by dreams and the tree which moves some to tears of pure joy is in the opinion of others is merely a green thing that stands in their mighty way.

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.  Some see Nature as all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all.  But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.”
–  William Blake, 1799, The Letters    

We tend to fall in love with the little things about nature, like the sound of wind in the trees and the way their branches moves over us in a swinging fashion and hence protecting us from the direct rays of sunlight.


What is the word for the sound of wind in trees?


The sound of wind blowing through the trees is mesmerising and have the power to bring our childhood memories back. Through ages, people have invented many words to describe their favourite sounds.

The sound of the wind is so appealing that when it pass or encounter any obstacle, it is known as the Eolian sound as described in Britannica.

Similarly, there is also a word for the sound of wind in the trees and the rustling of leaves. It comes from the Greek word psithuros means whispering.

Psithurism is the word described by many tree enthusiasts when the wind blows through the trees and produced a rustling sound.


This image is designed by using the Canva app.


Psithurism is a very difficult word to pronounce if you are not familiar with silent words. There is an explanation for pronouncing weird words in the English language. It should be kept in mind that “p” at the start of psithurism is silent as can be mostly seen with the words that usually start with “ps”. Hence, the psithurism word is pronounced as sith-err-iz-um.


All conversation begins under the shade of trees.


I like trees in their most vulnerable form when they are busy gossiping happily with their neighbour trees and swaying their branches in full rhythm.

To conclude, I would say that that the powerful way of healing and restoring energy is by listening to the sound of nature. Spending time with trees reduces blood pressure and relieves stress and anxiety as it is rightly said all good conversations begin under the shade of trees.


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Also read: Tree hugging is real and it works