Witch Zoe




“Am I helping people?” is a question that frequently comes up for me. 

Since I was very little, I felt the urge to be of help. 

It troubles me greatly to see someone suffering or in pain.

“What can I do to help them?”

If I can’t find myself being helpful, I would be greatly bothered and feel restless the rest of the day. 


It occurred to me today, as I sit in my contemplation,

that this urge to help is not about helping others, but myself. 

It comes from an unrest inside of me.

I can’t be at peace when I see suffering and pain. 

Why is that? 


Because I am not suffering or in as much pain as them. 

I am not going through as many difficulties as them.

My life is endurable, or even, quite enjoyable most of the time. 

It bothers me that someone, especially people close to me or whom I love and care about deeply, is not sharing my good fortune.

The problem is not their suffering, however, but my own inability to face their suffering. 


It is human nature to avoid “problems”. 

As I feel the need to help others to “solve” their problem, I am avoiding my own problem as well. 

Why am I not at peace when I see people struggling? 

Why do I have the compulsion to solve other’s problems? 

What are my own problems?

How can I be of help to myself? 

What can bring me peace at these moments? 


Can I remember that everyone has their own journey and karma to go through? 

Can I not see people’s sufferings as “problems”  but opportunities for their growth? 

Can I remind myself that if I take care of other’s problems for them, I could potentially rid them of the precious learning experience they are here to undertake? 

Can I offer myself peace and confidence that the best thing I can do at these moments is to witness their journey, and be there for them when they ask for my support?

Can I make peace with the idea that I cannot help anyone else but myself?  


As I started doing more contemplations in nature, I found great wisdom in comparing my problems with those of the trees. 

The best way for a tree to support others is to focus on its own growth. 

It cannot shoulder the misfortunes of another tree, say being struck by lightning or getting burned down by the wild fire.

The only thing a tree can be of help is by standing its ground and simply being there. 

There is tremendous strength in stillness and quiet witness.  



September 20, 2023  /  Wednesday         Sunny / 65F



I’m sitting by the living room window basking in the sun, next to Bean.

He has been enjoying the sun all morning.

He was not alerted by my presence, barely opened his eyes to greet me as I sat down. 


Trust is a softened state.

Nothing is tense. 

Trust is welcoming everything and enjoying them as they come. 

Trust is exposing my soft spot and not worrying about getting hurt.


Do trees get ‘hurt’?

Oh yes, they get struck by lightning, some die. 

Or the strong wind from a hurricane, branches broken. 

Or being eaten by insects or animals. 

These are physical wounds. 

Trees don’t get ‘hurt’ in their spirit.




Because trees know they are just part of a big cycle. 

No, they are the cycle. 

A tree is the manifestation of just one single stage. 

They know they are more than that.

They are also sunshine, rainwater, wind, birds that rest in them, squirrels running by. 


I guess to really trust is to understand this.

Our place in the whole scheme of things. 

If I’m not fixated on preserving “me”, or what I believe is “me”,

If I realize everything is part of me,

I am not afraid to get hurt. 


What’s the difference between “me” and “I”?

I am.

me comes and goes, like clouds in the sky.


So why don’t i trust “me” can be the best “me”? 

Because i try to control my course of life, i try to see what i can be, as if a tree can choose its shape and size, what direction it grows into. 


Sure, but the tree did choose, no?

It chose its seed. 

However, the seed doesn’t dictate the organic growth.

That’s the wonder of life. 


What is my seed then? 

I have to trust. 

Trees don’t ask questions.

They just grow.

I, too, need to grow to realize my potential.

I have to trust in myself and in time.


A Japanese tea tree is going to grow differently in New York than in Kyoto. 

But it will always be identified as a Japanese tea tree with learned eyes. 

It can never grow outside of its innate nature, its programmed tendency and potential.

It will never become a Maple no matter where it is or how it is planted. 


Trust the nature in me. 

Life is not about growing into a certain height or size, but discovering my own unique nature, allowing it to bloom and flourish on its own. 


I have arrived at the moment where I realize I am not the same as the trees around me. 


Their strategy do not work for me. 

I can either figure out my “group”, however distant, and learn from them.

Or simply trust the nature in me, and outside of me, trust that I will find the best way to adapt to my current environment guided by my instincts.

Actually, I can’t learn to grow like a Japanese tea tree in Kyoto either, because the strategy that works for them might not work for me here in New York. 

The conditions are different.


Since I decided to be planted in a different area, since I decided to grow away from my clan, I can only listen to myself.

I can try different strategies and see what works for me.

Or come up with my own original strategy – my body knows what’s good for me.


What about my mind? 

Mind is the internal growth, body is the external growth. 

Body and mind both change, with time, with experience.

True intelligence lies within my heart. 


Only heart is constant.

It is open, soft; it welcomes all experiences. 

It gives space to all that comes my way. 


Trust is listening to my heart.

Allow my body and mind to be shaped by the experience. 

The optimal strategy is one with the least resistance. 

Simply be.

September 19, 2023  /  Tuesday         Sunny / 64F



What does it mean to be patient?

Is it waiting? no.

What is it then? 

To give room, tolerance, space, and time. 

To trust in the process.

Less “I”.


I am most impatient when I feel I need to do something else.

There is nothing else. 

Life is time.

To be patient is to trust life will take its best course without my interference. 

I’m not interfering when I see “I” and “Life” as one, not separate.

I am life.

Time is my space. 

I can take as much or as little space as I want. 

When I slow down and take more time (i.e. space), I notice more. 


My life is fuller. 

Notice the birds singing outside.

Bean Bean cuddling on my thighs.

The warmth of the Sun on my skin.

The magnificent clouds outside, always changing. 

Why am I always rushing? 

There is nowhere I have to be more than here, now. 

Now here, is also, nowhere.


To be patient is to enjoy life.

To be surprised.

To allow myself to be surprised. 

Everything has a reason, and a place, to be.

Patience is acknowledging everything’s rightful place. 

To not rush, or, deny them. 


I can slow down.

I can be patient, like the trees.

They are just watching us, not rushing, being at their own pace. 

Do they worry about timing?


Timing is always right.


The body knows. 

Listen to my body.

Don’t tense up.

Don’t resist.

Don’t hold tension.


How can everything exist all at once?

Because I’m not focusing my attention in just one thing.

Patience is observing, not in a single focused spotlight fashion, but an ambient light.

All life is wonderful. 



September 11, 2023  /  Monday         Overcast / 78F

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