It is said, that for every poisonous plant in the Amazon rainforest, there is a matching plant growing nearby, which yields the antidote to that very poison.

Such is the balance of Nature … and in our spiritual lives.

Imagine the entire Amazon rainforest, is within us. We each embody its immensity and complexity, all its intricate, finely balanced ecosystems, weather patterns, life cycles, and teeming life forms.

Just as we contain every poisonous plant – fear, doubt, anxiety, insecurity, pride, jealousy, frustration, hatred, depression – so, we also contain somewhere nearby, each antidote – love, sympathy, faith, hope, gratitude, humility, enthusiasm, patience, cheerfulness.

It is best to shun all poisonous plants: but to avoid them, we need to know which ones they are, and how to recognise them. And once poisoned, knowing there is an antidote plant somewhere in the forest, is no help when we are dying: we have to know which plant is which, where to find it, and how to use it. This comes from an intimate knowledge of the forest, or in the case of our spiritual life, intimate knowledge of ourself.

The only way to know ourselves well enough to recognise the poison plants, and where their antidotes are to be found and how to apply them, is through meditation, for meditation reveals to us the character and nature of our own mind and heart; how to avoid the poisons of the mind and access our heart’s healing power.

Sure enough, all the poisonous plants are to be found growing in the mind; but like the forest, the powerful antidote plants are in close proximity. The distance from one to the other is not a physical distance; it is the effort of aspiration required to leap from our mind, into our heart.