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“When you go out into the woods
and you look at trees
you see all these different trees.
And some of them are bent,
and some of them are straight,
and some of them are evergreens,
and some of them are whatever.
And you look at the tree
and you allow it.
You see why it is the way it is.
You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light,
and so it turned that way.
And you don’t get all emotional about it.
You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans,
you lose all that.
And you are constantly saying,
‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’
That judging mind comes in.
And so I practice turning people into trees.
Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
Ram Dass a.k.a. Richard Alpert (b. 1931)
American spiritual teacher and author