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THE TREE IN THE STORM

FOCUS AND PERSPECTIVE- JANUARY 2003
THE TREE IN THE STORM

Take a clearing breath. Clear your thoughts with light, a sound or a visualization.
Then sit back, relax, and read…
Let’s take some time to focus on trees in our lives. Trees have a special significance for humans. In the material dimension, they provide us with food, shelter, clothing, and aesthetic pleasure. They help to regulate our oxygen supply and influence the very air that we breathe. Climate and soil changes are related to trees.

In a personal way, trees may have an abstract meaning in our own daily lives. For some of us they are part of the background, and not something to particularly look at or be aware of; to others, they may form a landmark on a road, something that tells us where we need to turn, where a friend’s house is situated. Changes in trees- the “baur” or flowers appearing in a mango tree, yellowing of leaves, falling leaves, new leaves, fruit- all these signal the passing of seasons. Some of us need trees to feel balanced in our lives.

Trees have been used by folk tales to teach us to live our lives. We may remember a story from our childhood, about the giant old oak and the tiny sapling. When a storm came, the proud oak tree refused to bend, and relied with pride on its strength, size and age to withstand the strong winds; it does not seem to have a lot of wisdom, because it laughed at the young sapling that had to bend with every wind, almost seeming to blow away. Remember how the story ended? After that long storm, the proud oak was destroyed, uprooted, and the sapling survived. We hope that it learnt a lesson about how to withstand storms as an older tree.

Trees have been used metaphorically to remind us to have the correct perspective in our lives. We can sometimes “miss the wood for the trees” [or the “forest for the trees”] when we focus too narrowly, seeing only one tree and missing the fact that it is part of a wood, and not understanding the whole picture; and at other times, we may not focus at all and get lost in the woods, understanding absolutely nothing!

How do we withstand the storms in our life? The following visualization helps the next time you feel insecure, upset, or uncertain of an action to take.

Imagine that you are a tree: with roots deep in the ground and branches spread wide and high. Picture yourself standing straight and tall, with roots extending from your feet deep into mother Earth. Focus on the depths to which your roots extend, and the spread of them around the Earth.

Follow the spread of your branches as they extend to the farthest reaches of the atmosphere.

Then visualize how you get sustenance from mother earth. Your roots draw in the nutrients you need. You derive sustenance through your branches too- light, fresh air.

Through you, there is a constant flow of pure loving energy to sustain you. With each breath in, you draw in sustenance from your roots and branches. As you breathe out, you remove all negative thoughts, worries, doubts, bad memories, frustrations. They are recycled and transformed by the atmosphere and the earth.

Picture the fruits you provide to people around you. Take time to be thankful for the sustenance and shelter you provide to your family, friends, acquaintances, peers, dependents, and others you come into contact with. Like a tree, you affect people you may not even know. Like a beautifully spreading tree, you take in sustenance and give out sustenance. Like a tree we may sometimes stand alone and at other times feel a part of a forest.

When you are ready, slowly take another deep breath in and out and go on with your daily life.

This visualization helps us to remember that we belong to the planet we live in, and the universe; and can physically and spiritually draw on their energizing and cleansing powers whenever we so desire. It helps us to become aware at the moment if we enjoy being alone or as part of the people around us.

The grounding, centering and expansion that this exercise provides in an instant are of great help before an important presentation, as a start to a day, when you feel emotionally vulnerable, or just any time the visualization comes to you!

What lesson do you derive from the story of the proud oak tree and the sapling? What parallels can be drawn with the human condition: the generations and their different perspectives of understanding and handling storms in their lives?

As you move through the month, be aware of your thoughts on trees and storms, belonging to the earth and the people around us, giving and taking from the environment. Remember to share any thought you have; don’t judge your thought: is it worthy or not, meaningful or not, related or not- sharing helps us all to expand and grow.

Trees- Yashodhara Suri

If you would like to share a thought but not your name to the group, please write to holistic-life@yahoo.com and let me know; if you are open to sharing both – your thoughts and your name please write to holistic-life@yahoogroups.com

Stay centered and expanded.

© Meenakshi Suri Jan 2003

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