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Melina Sempill Watts’ “Tree” and Buddhism: Joy and Evanescence


June 17, 2018


Cost: FREE

“The Buddha achieved enlightenment while meditating under a tree. To what extent did the tree’s being contribute to the Buddha’s shift of consciousness?” – Melina Sempill Watts

Tree is the story of 229 years in the life of a California live oak from the perspective of … the tree.  This work of fiction is imbued with Buddhist values and provides a unique perspective to explore compassion, grief and acceptance from the point of view of other living beings.

The book explores themes that stem from Buddhism: the serenity created by being, literally, rooted to one spot, respect and compassion for all living things, a visceral experience of the evanescence of life, the need to let go of attachments as plants, animals and people love, live, cherish, die and life itself continues.

Take a moment to experience the world from a tree’s point of view and join us after meditation to talk Tree at the Zen Center of Los Angeles.


Melina Sempill Watts’ writing has appeared in Sierra Magazine, the New York Times Motherlode blog, Earth Island Journal and Sunset Magazine, in local environmental venues such as Urban Coast: Journal of the Center for the Study of the Santa Monica Bay, the Heal the Bay blog and in local papers such as Malibu Times, Malibu Surfside News, Topanga Messenger and Argonaut News.

Watts began her career in Hollywood as a development executive, writing consultant and story analyst working for such luminaries as Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Peter Horton and at Dreamworks. She has worked as a watershed coordinator, run a stable, shelved books at a library and created, marketed and ran Starfish Catering. Watts graduated from UCLA with a degree in history. She lives in California.


Los Angles Zen Center, 923 Normandie Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90006