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Mantra for the Moment


Artwork by Suzanne B. Stryker


As I walked through the forest, I felt a oneness with all. New blades of emerald grass reached up to the heavens in prayer. I heard the pleasant crunching sound of dry leaves as two silver squirrels played a game of hide and seek. In front of me, a cardinal settled on a branch in a hickory tree and dazzled me with his redness and song. An old truck puttered down the road nearby. All the sounds I heard were like my mantra for the moment. Sound therapy orchestrated by nature, just for me.

I appreciated the tranquility of the trees around me. Like human beings, the trees were alive, but unlike many humans these days, the trees were peaceful and uncomplicated. No confusion, anger, anxiety or blame. No greed, guilt or jealousy. Simplicity. Simplicity at its best.

I would've just been content to admire and bask in the wonderful qualities of the trees, but they even gave me a gift.

I felt the trees appreciating me for being aware, for appreciating what they naturally radiate, as if we were secret members of a mutual admiration society. I felt them quietly say, "Finally! We have been waiting so long for someone to recognize our true nature. We are delighted."

The trees rooted a deeper sense of peacefulness in my nervous system, right down to my core.

Artwork by Suzanne B. Stryker

A lightbulb went off inside me and inside the trees as well. We woke up together. I learned that by me being aware of the glory of the trees, they could know it, for themselves, through me. I became the eyes and the ears for the trees, so they could perceive through me. I was infinitely connected to them on the level of unity. Their experience was my experience and my experience was their experience. They marveled at how I could walk and move about so freely. I marveled at how they could stay present and still, decade after decade.

I looked at the hundreds of trees surrounding me. Each one a cherished family member. Each one in its own way contributed to the silence that we experienced together.

I felt as if I had been given the best of boons. And yet the trees indicated they had received. It was impossible to tell where the giving and receiving began and ended, for it was a mutual endowment and delight.

I became aware of God in the trees and God appreciating me from within the trees. I became aware of the God in me, seeing through my eyes and knowing the silence within and without.

I sauntered along with my awareness including the hundreds of godly trees around me and beyond. Lost and found in the beauty of it all. My mantra for the moment.

Artwork by Suzanne B. Stryker


  • Gosh,Suzanne, I really felt like a tree as I was reading this, very lush and middle earth like! What a great communication!
    Love you, June

    June Oliver
  • Lovely experience, lovely artwork. I hope the experience never ends and grows and grows and grows. I’m sure the trees and stones, clouds and squirrels, agree.

    Steve Sufian
  • Very lovely. Thank you. My wife and I have felt an uncommon peace and quiet in all this: cars aren’t rushing around crazy, couples are going for walks together and having peaceful togetherness, and so on. We thought: give folks a solid reason to contemplate their death, and a lot of silly concerns go away.

  • Stunning watercolors. Thanks for sending

  • Carol O. shared this with me….The prose so beautifully and elegantly described your experience….You brought me there with you….I felt the presence of God… And your artwork is utterly breathtaking… absolutely exquisite…I don’t want to close my computer… I want to keep looking from one painting to the other and each time I do, I discover something new…Like I just found the monk walking on the road… thank you for uplifting my evening….xo

    Debra Poneman

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