Sometimes people ask you: "When is your birthday?" But you might ask yourself a more interesting question: "Before that day which is called my birthday, where was I?"
Ask a leaf: "What is your date of birth? Before you were born, where were you?"
If you ask the leaf, "How old are you? Can you give me your date of birth?" you can listen deeply and you may hear a reply. You can imagine the leaf being born. Before being born it was the meristem in the mother oak. Or it was the acorn that had fallen onto the soil. It was also the sun because the warmth from the sun helped the acorn grow. The rain is there too, helping to nourish the mother tree and help it thrive. The leaf does not come from nothing; there has been only a change in form. It is not a birth of something out of nothing.
Sooner or later, the leaf will change into decaying organic material. If you look deeply into the ground you can see the leaf. The leaf is not lost; it is transformed into compost, and the compost is transformed into grass and the grass into cows and then to milk and then into the latte you drink. Today if you drink a latte, give yourself time to look at the latte and say: "Hello, leaf! I recognise you.”
Our true nature is the nature of no birth and no death. Only when we touch our true nature can we transcend the fear of non-being, the fear of annihilation.
Nothing is born, nothing dies.