Ivy is really interesting. On the one hand we encourage it to grow on our buildings. On the other hand it can rip away and destroy those same buildings. I love looking at ivy and other such climbing plants. I think they perfectly show how things are interdependent and how suffering ( or the natural highs and lows) of life is innate and beautiful. Most Ivy don’t have a support structure. They rely on the other plants and buildings around them to climb toward the light. Some even feed off the nutrients of their host tree to survive. When I look at an ivy covered wall, I also see the natural world trying to reclaim and re-integrate with the man-made structures. We are all connected. We rely on each other. Our actions are also destructive. We create the things that cause us suffering. We are all like the ivy. Clinging to this world, trying to survive, and potentially destroying the things we need. Step back and realize where you are clinging in your life. Maybe we are choking something by clinging to it. Maybe we need to recognize our piece of the infinite workings of the universe. We are the ivy, we are the wall, we are the universe.
I recently picked up a new hobby of bouldering. I appreciate the meditative aspect in climbing. When you come up to a wall, you first have to inspect it closely to see how you can climb it. Then you just put your hands and feet on the starting holds and go.
You only move one limb at a time, so it forces you to focus all your energy in the moment, shifting weight back and forth, pulling and pushing, carefully placing each limb to make the next movement possible, and listening to your body when it tells you your limitations.
There's no room for the dukkha when you're on the wall. There's no room for stressing about the future. There's no room for ruminating on the past. There is just you and the wall in this moment.
Being one in the moment is life. The more time you can spend wholely present, the more life you get to live. Find an activity that makes you happy. Spend time living. Namo Amida Bustu.