Amrita Virtual Academy Blog

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Sitting in tree roots, vertical

Communicating with nature came into my life quite naturally. The trees were my friends as a child and have brought me solace as an adult. I thought I would share a short inspiration about how talking with the trees helps me in my spiritual and emotional life, supports my creativity and connects me to Amma even when I am far away from Her physically.

My hometown is London, and I’m lucky enough to live in a very green area (called Greenwich!) with a beautiful park that contains many large old trees. As a child I would play inside these trees (many of them are evergreens with branches that come almost to the ground, creating a separate world “inside” the tree. I would designate different areas to be the bedroom or the living room. I would make ‘cupboards’ in the roots of the trees, or up in the branches, and store my favorite rocks, feathers and petals safely.

After meeting Amma, as my spiritual life deepened, I discovered that being with these trees was much like being with Amma. If I was struggling being apart from Her form, I would visit these trees and hug them. Lie on their branches. Lean against their trunks.

“Being in the space of the trees and flowers connected me to a wisdom that was larger than myself.”

We started to build a relationship, and I would feel them reaching out to embrace me long before I was leaning in to hug the physical trunk of the tree. Every day I would look forward to the moment when I could walk in the park and visit each of my tree friends in turn.

Top of tree

One day I was struggling with something and I spontaneously found myself talking to the tree about it. I felt safe with this gentle giant, and could open my heart fearlessly, knowing I wouldn’t be judged or evaluated against some imaginary standards. To my surprise, the tree ‘spoke back’. Or perhaps more accurately, I discovered that inspiration and insight were easily available in the shelter of the tree’s embrace.

I started to explore this phenomenon. I bought myself a dictaphone (so that I wouldn’t look like a crazy lady!!) and I started recording the information and inspiration that would come. I discovered that if I was willing to be open, and talk freely about whatever situation I was facing, if I was open to the ‘muse’, being in the space of the trees and flowers connected me to a wisdom that was larger than myself.

“It really felt to me like Amma was answering my questions through these incredible tree beings.”

If I needed direction for my work, I would ask the trees what to focus on. If I was sad, I would share my feelings and allow clarity to wipe my tears. The trees became my daily companions. I would seek out their counsel and each day I would be surprised by the depth of insight that flowed back in response to my explorations. It really felt to me like Amma was answering my questions through these incredible tree beings. After participating in these conversations, I would feel such a sense of peace and steadiness, like I was exactly where I needed to be and was right on track.

Amma with sapling tree

Since that time, I have continued this practice in various places around the world, wherever my travels carry me. It’s always beautiful to commune with nature, and bring my questions to Her gentle embrace. And yet, the depth of response is not the same without the relationship. Nature is more like a silent witness, holding space for my process, but the responses are generally not as profound as with my deep-rooted tree friendships in that park in London! Perhaps this mirrors our relationship with Amma, because when we feel close to Her in our hearts, we are much more open to following Her guidance in our lives. I pray that one day I can have that depth of friendship with the whole of nature, and see Amma in everyone and everything!

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