I have started hosting a small circle for residents of the apartment complex, where I stay. It has been a slow start....
Last Thursday morning, on the day of Awakin, I found fresh flowers in the middle of my path--twice, while walking. I brought them home and kept in a pot. These seemed like a gift from the universe and made me smile :)
Later, we had our most beautiful Awakin so far. There were 3 people in the circle but the discussion went deep. Below are few thoughts from the circle of sharing:
We have so much to learn from plants:
Acceptance and Gratefulness -Trees are always in one place, they cannot go anywhere. They cannot have their way but need to accept whatever is given. However, they seem so calm and cheerful with their colors. In their shade we find peace. Human beings are becoming greedy and egoistic, in today’s world and these are causing so much pain and sadness. This is such an essential lesson to be on a noble, humane path.
Dedicated contribution without comparison - Trees do their own work with so much dedication - each tree producing its own crop. They interact with the universe and do the task for which they are sent, without comparing with other trees. This is a big lesson for us humans who create competition and dis-satisfaction: ‘Contribute to the best of our ability, with all our assets for supporting the universe positively, without wanting what others may have’.
Go deep - the deeper our roots, the more strength & ability we have to undergo any difficult situation. Going deep also enables one to be in contact with earth and universal powers which strengthen us from within. Nowadays, in a race to go fast we are missing out on the benefits of depth.
Dirt in, Life out - Trees happily take in Carbon Dioxide but give out Oxygen. This teaches us to create goodness and positivity, even when we receive shit, convert it to some good use, if possible. Always give our best even if we receive worst.
Be Non-judgmental and Serve all equally- Trees teach us to nourish every being with our work and presence equally, without any judgement or differentiation. Even while cutting a tree, if wood-cutter sits under it for a while, the tree gives shade and fruits. Be generous to all, forgive others (even those who harm us) and be kind are messages to take from these wise beings.
Selfless giving for others' benefit – allow complete utilization in every possible way of all our possessions and ourselves, we should be useful even after our death. This was also illustrated by the story of a tree who served a boy with all he had; until the boy became an old man and tree had nothing left to give. At this point the old man realizes that tree (with only roots left) was still his best buddy.
Create good seeds - Seeds will yield results in future, which may multiply and serve millions - one never knows the positive ripples possible over centuries. Trees produce their best possible seeds by putting in all they can. A big learning for humans. On the other hand, each destructive thought could be like a seed of negativity; so we need to be aware of our mind. Thoughts are seeds to actions. When thoughts are pure & positive, words and actions are bound to be good.
Importance of community or sangha - During a cyclone it was found that few trees could withstand the most powerful winds, while every other structure fell. The study showed that these are trees have very deep roots, growing down for miles underneath. Their roots spread for large areas and even get connected to other trees. Thus any calamity cannot impact them easily. This could translate to noble connections for human beings which can be our biggest wealth.
Follow ancient teachings - In India people worship trees – ‘Tulasi’, ‘Pipal’, ‘Banyan’ etc. What a wonderful message they left that don’t destroy trees, they are our saviors. If we respect and follow what wealth of messages our ancestors left for us, life could be much more meaningful and beautiful :)