Forest Outside, Forest Inside

Written by Gede Prama

It is difficult to deny it, because it is important why the earth is so touching now because forests are being destroyed everywhere.  One of the accurate proofs is that the corona virus spreads very violently in a dense residential areas.  As an implication, for many forests that have been injured.  Opening the secret of statistic, countries that use the largest tissue such as the US are also the biggest victims of this corona virus pandemic.

Once again, over used of tissues are one of a sign of forest destruction.  Another proof, the crowd is a place that is very feared in this era.  Again, it shows us about the importance of a quiet forest.  The invitation then to friends, when the forest outside is getting scarce, let’s learn to care for the forest inside.  In English, the forest is called forest.  If it is divided into two, it becomes for rest (a place to rest).

In order to find a place to rest inside (read: inner forest), you should read the symbolic Guru in the form of obesity (overweight) and diabetes (sweets), which are the top killers of our time.  The symbolic message to be conveyed, back in the days when hunger spreads, humans became healthy by putting a lot of food in their mouths, but this era is different.

In this day and age, friends are invited to put less food in.  Even the professor of genetics from Harvard University named David Synclair, as well as the most influential figure in extending the life of humans in this era, also advised to eat large meals (rice, side dishes, vegetables, etc.) just once a day.  Guruji has also been doing it for more than 10 years.

Once less food enters through the mouth, naturally the food that enters through thoughts and feelings is also less.  Mainly because the lust in the body is related to the movement of energy in thoughts and feelings.  For that reason, it is great to be able to take care of yourself by consuming less food through your thoughts and feelings.

From watching less distracting news, using less sacred teaching and high education in a purpose to judge the others, to spending less time in an environment where there is too much competition and overthrowing of each other.  In the HH of the Dalai Lama language: “Religion is not here to attack the others, but to purify our inner soul”.

Religion is not a weapon to attack people on the outside, but Tirtha (holy water) to purify the soul inside.  Be guided by this kind of beautiful understanding, then remember to care for the forest within.  The key word, rest in the moment as it is.  Do not use holy teaching to judge others.  Try less on using the ideal size of the past to judge current present moment.

In the beautiful language of Confucius: “When people seems right, imitate them. If people seems wrong, check your inner thoughts.”  While remembering, the organs of the human body (eyes, ears, thoughts, feelings) are not clean mirrors that can reflect reality as it is.  What the eye sees is the result of the intricate interaction between the outside and the inside.

Thus, when people seem displeased, there is no need to rush to call them different.  Deeply realize, the unfavorable headlines that come from the mind are also affected by our own defilements within.  Rather than flaunting outward anger, or inviting more attacks from the outside, it is advisable to rest the mind inside.

Only when the pond is calm, the lotus flower can bloom beautifully.  Only when the mind (feeling) is calm the soul within can blossom beautifully.  Thus, the most important task of caring for the inner forest is to maintain a calm and balanced mind.  This state of mind is what deep meditation aims to attain.

Refreshing the memories of friends in the guided meditation sessions, just as nature cannot throw away the night, just as the ocean cannot cast off waves, as roses cannot throw away thorns, neither do man can cast away sorrow from happiness, cannot remove sorrow from joy.  The two of them were side by side naturally.

Hence, in meditation classes the friends have long been guided like this: “Meditation heals and reconciles not by removing the negatives, not by adding the positives, but by resting in the present as it is”.  Whoever is diligent on this path, will one day be able to have a forest of reassurance within.

The eminent psychologist Carl Jung is one of the people who have arrived here: “Those who seek outside are dreaming, those who rediscover inside have awaken”.  Those who looks for pleasure on the outside is prone to disappointment.  Because the world outside is like a dream.  Those who finds happiness within is an awakened soul.  In Ancient India awakened people were given the title Buddha (fully enlightened soul).

If that seems too high to attain, a resting mind (read: inner forest) makes less energy leak, the body immunity will improves, and life conflict will be less.  So that the brain does not need to give birth to a hellish hormone like cortisol, and release the more growth hormones such as dopamine.  Finally, we can attain the feeling of eat well and sleep well.

Photo caption: Guruji is “meditating” in a forest area in East Bali.  Photo taken by Ibu (Guruji’s wife)

About the author

Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

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