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Conversations with a Persimmon…

Its an uncharacteristic winter here in Seattle. We generally don’t see temperatures below freezing, let alone snow (usually small amounts) until the mid to end of the season. I did a bit of digging and this is the whitest Christmas in the Pacific Northwest since 1861… estimating between 10-20″ (depending on how north) inches of snow thus far!

What does this have to do with persimmons?? With the unusual low temperatures and large amounts of snow… when you’d think all organic life is either hibernating or has returned to the Earth for ‘recycling’, there remains a good number of persimmons still holding onto their branches here at Blue Heron Zen Community. Zen being a constant practice of inquiry and investigation, I was curious as to why? And if I asked this question to one of my teachers… they would surely say something like, “Go ask a persimmon.” So I layered up and ventured outside to converse with some persimmons… ask, “what are you holding onto? and why?”

I only received a glimmer of an answer. An insight into the oneness of all things… that I and the persimmon are not different or separate. By asking the persimmon this question, I was actually asking my own mind. At this point, the only appropriate thing to do was bow and say, “thank you for your teaching.”

To explore this from a less esoteric and more cognitive view – Five-Element acupuncture and philosophy puts the Winter season as the time of the Water Element. I’ll be doing a whole post dedicated to the Water Element and its associated meridians of the Kidney and Urinary Bladder. There are two energetic aspects of the Water Element that came up for me in relation to the persimmons…

Fear and Will. These are big topics that could (and probably will) be entire posts of their own. But here I ask my own mind, and maybe you find yourself asking your own, the following:

What are you afraid of? Can you let go? Are you afraid of the fall? Is it the unknown of where you’ll land or the unknown of the journey down? Say you let go, fall, and land… then what?

Do you have the will to overcome? Is it your will in imbalance that keeps you hanging on? Can you find the willingness to fall, change, even decay… but then transform and give birth to something new, vibrant, and powerful? Is there trust in this natural process that has happened countless times to numberless beings over infinite time and space? Harnessing the will of Water allows us to transcend the fear of the unknown and come out the other side with wisdom and insight.

Just like us, some persimmons fall when ‘nudged’, come back to Source and transform into something new. Others take a bit longer. Still others will continue to hold on. No situation better than the other… they are just as they are. No matter what, they will continue to change moment to moment to moment… what will you do with this one right here, right now?

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