A Life of Many Rings

I know a story of finding meaning in a Zen koan, any koan. It is a tale of a tree and an axe.

The tree’s girth is considerable, a life of many rings, no two alike, for as each ring ended another began.

No matter how sharp (or great) the axe, the chopping through of each ring of life brings uncertainty and inevitability for both the tree and the one wielding the axe.

What is learned is changed in each lifetime.

It is an ancient story in a time when both tree and axe were held in an awe now forgotten but an axe and a tree we still know. How different now from then.

I understand this much about trees, certain to be felled by the very act of living, which is to say I have wielded my share of axes.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.


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