Advise From A Tree By Ilan Shamir
This legendary poem “Advise from a tree” is everywhere whenever I looked for the keyword trees on the internet.
It has been manipulated and modified in thousands of ways online but initially, it is written and composed by Ilan Shamir. You can learn more about him here.
Let’s put it into segments for easy reading. Here I would like to describe how I have perceived it through a spiritual viewpoint. These are some insights on giving recognition to a tree that stands tall and proud.
1. Trees educate us about the ancient law of life. They stand tall and proud for a reason.
2. Sink your roots deeply into the Earth has a deep spiritual meaning. It means we should give the same way as we would like to receive from nature. Plant more trees and get more close to the natural world.
The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility.”Wendell Berry
3. Reflect the light of a greater source = Be generous in giving and helping others.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.Rumi
4. Think long-term but pause for a minute. Believe in your infinite potential of helping others and do your best.
A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesySaint Basil
reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.
5. Go out on a limb and take risks.
Every day is an opportunity to learn something or discover something or someplace. Be curious, play, go out on a limb, walk a different way to work, try a new food at dinner and keep learning and growing.Sandra Magsamen
6. Remember your place among all living beings and be kind to your fellow human beings.
We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.Neil DeGrasse Tyson
7. Embrace with joy the changing seasons because always remember your outer world is the reflection of your life’s inner world.
Be like the sun for grace and mercy. Be like the night to cover others’ faults. Be like running water for generosity. Be like death for rage and anger. Be like the Earth for modesty. Appear as you are. Be as you appear.Citation needed
8. For each yields its own abundance as everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality. Serve others.
When you find yourself in need of spiritual nourishment, it is in the opportunities to serve others that you will find the abundance you seek.Steve Maraboli
9. The Energy and Birth of Spring = Be conscious of your surroundings.
Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.Zhuangzi
10. The Growth and Contentment of Summer remind us that the best friend on earth of man is the tree.
You have no choice. You must leave your ego on the doorstep before you enter love.Kamand Kojouri
11. The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall suggests that we should be open to change and varying opinions.
12. The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter reminds us that the trees outlive us, they are fixed, but seem to arise a sense of permanence in us.
13. Feel the wind and the sun And delight in their presence = Be Happy.
Happiness comes from helping others, by being with others, and by sharing, even if it’s only a smile.Zain Hashmi
14. Look up at the moon that shines down upon you and the mystery of the stars at night. Once we see the world for what it is, we see that it is nothing but a reminder of God, a remembrance of God.
Those who look for seashells will find seashells; those who open them will find pearls.Al-Ghazali
15. Seek nourishment from the good things in life because what you seek is also seeking you.
16. Simple pleasures Earth, fresh air, light = Find happiness by taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.
17. Be content with your natural beauty means follow the wisdom provided by nature. Too much of everything will ruin your personality.
18. Drink plenty of water reminds us that we should keep nourishing our soul.
19. Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes. Your heart knows the way.
Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.Rumi
20. Be flexible like water
We are like water, aren’t we? We can be fluid, flexible when we have to be. But strong and destructive, too.” And something else, I think to myself. Like water, we mostly follow the path of least resistance.Wally Lamb, We Are Water
21. Remeber your roots because your journey is towards your homeland.
Your journey is towards your homeland. Remember you are travelling from the world of appearances to the world of Reality.Abdul Khaliq Ghujduwani
22. In the end, I would not make any promises. Just Enjoy the view!
I should not make any promises right now,Hafiz
But I know if you
Somewhere in this world –
Something good will happen.
Here’s the original poem..
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!
Thank you for reading.
Hello dear friends and respected readers! The month of June is already here. Let’s talk about some fun facts about this month and know why June is called June? June is the sixth month of the Gregorian calendar. It is called so because it is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of childbirth and fertility. […]
I read into things & tonight, my mood is like the dark green leaves of Ficus elastica
Tonight, my mood is like the dark green leaves of Ficus elastica. Have you heard about the rubber tree plant? Yes, you might have guessed it by now that Ficus elastica is the scientific name of the rubber plant. It’s a kind of plant that has a shiny and rubbery texture.
The symbolic meaning of the rubber tree plant
If you are seeing a rubber tree plant, it might be a hint that you need to learn to love yourself first before you are ready to receive love from others.
This kind of plant brings prosperity, wealth, and good luck to your house.
This is a kind of plant that brings positive energy in your house.
This is a kind of plant that promotes growth and has a healing power.
This is a kind of plant that evolves a sense of peace and stability to the mind.
Tonight my mood is like the dark green leaves of Ficus elastica and for days, I wanted to write something on dark green leaves but then I read onto other things as well. You know, I can be easily distracted by boredom when I am feeling energetic but have nowhere to direct my energy.
Ficus elastica provides a stress-free environment in your house by purifying the air you breathe.
This is a kind of plant that brings balance and harmony to your life.
I read into things and tonight, my thoughts are not just limited to Ficus elastica
Margaret Atwood says, “if you get hungry enough (…) you start eating your own heart.” The truth is that if you don’t discipline your heart, it will swallow you.
Thank you for reading.
The survival of an heritage tree
This picture recently receives my attention on the social media platform. It happens when a person by the name Hamayun Mughal shared this image with a local gardening group on Facebook and it awestruck me since then.
I was stunned to find this kind of tree that has embedded its roots deep in the walls of a neglected building. Out of curiosity, a little research on it reveals that it is a Haveli (mansion) Sujan Singh which is located in the overcrowded market of Bhabhra Bazar, Rawalpindi.
It was built in the early 1890s by a wealthy businessman Rai Bahadur Sujan Singh in the Colonial era.
The haveli was built to resemble a royal palace with a majestic golden throne and bedrooms with original ivory furniture. In the various courtyards dancing peacocks were kept to dance during the evening and a pet tiger was kept which regularly walked the corridors.Wikipedia
It might be a spell-binding place in the olden days but now some parts of the haveli have been badly demolished, with collapsed roofs and termite-ridden walls further damaging the place. Hence, the building has been left to crumble and rot with time.
But then this happened…
But then this happened, nature decided to take over the entire place with its own leafy interwoven pattern.
This is presuming a heritage tree because it has ecological and cultural value. It has beautifully embedded itself in a place that is recognized as a heritage site by the government of Pakistan.
This kind of tree takes pleasure in its transformations. It looks familiar, quiet, and consistent in its appearances, but few of us know how much wisdom and insight this kind of tree endures inside its roots. It is freaking sober and relaxes where it is supposed to be.
Here let us redefined a heritage tree:
- A heritage tree is defined as a tree of cultural, biological, ecological, or historical concern depending upon its age, size, or condition.
- They are often among the oldest living things in the country.
- They are found in native forests, historic parks, farms, and estates of a country.
- They are usually along roadsides and in agricultural fields and sometimes find in the middle of residential areas or development sites.
- There is a need to preserve these trees for ecological and economic reasons.
What kind of tree it is?
This is a peepal tree which is one of the most beloved trees in the South Asian community.
There is a need to understand that native trees are highly aggressive and invasive while having an innate ability to spread almost anywhere.
This tree might be 10-20 years old or younger. It’s spread slowly but steadily when given ideal surroundings.
It’s a symbol of strength, morale, resistance and knowledge.
Throughout history, the peepal tree has been represented in different mythologies and sometimes linked to powerful gods. The peepal tree is considered a cosmic storehouse of wisdom comprised of tremendous strength. It grows slowly, but surely at its rate.
Are you wondering from where this tree is obtaining nourishment and overall strength?
- Many factors are responsible for its growth such as an abundance of light is essential for photosynthesis, a process by which a plant manufactures its food.
- The tree roots are well anchored and ingrained deeply requiring both organic and inorganic nutrients from the building.
- The bricks are mostly wet and damp. So, you can see that the tree is receiving moisture from the rainwater and the structure itself.
I have heard that restoration work is in progress to revive this old-time architectural wonder. My only concern is that they don’t cut down this tree. I understand it must be a challenging task for them to preserve this historical site. Let’s hope for the best.
Image courtesy: Facebook group post by Humayun Mughal
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Mango – A wish granting tree (Part 2)
Interesting facts about mango trees
For centuries, mango trees are symbolized in South Asian countries as wish-granting trees. This is part 2 of the Mango – A wish-granting tree mini-series.
If you have missed the previous section, then you can read about part 1 here:
Let’s find out the mythical meaning of the mango trees in folklore and mythology in a deliciously tender way.
Already so much information is gathered about these majestic mango trees across the internet. That if we composed them then they tend to fill many volumes.
Even a single story about the mango tree manages to fill many papers. Will you agree with me if I say that a single fact about the mango tree requires comprehensive research and analysis? Yes? No?
I am not an obsessive person about trees in any way but I do think that there is always a need to know about what made them so attractive and beneficial in history along with their various meanings in ancient scripts. Therefore, I feel that the sole purpose of this mini-series is to outline the different aspects of mango trees.
In part 1, I have briefly appraised the origin and etymology of mango trees by narrating the marvelous journey of Aam-kay to mango.
Here in part 2, my sole motive is to highlight this topic in detail.
- The history of mango trees in Buddhism
The Buddha love for mango trees
I ended the last section by referring to an account that in ancient India there was a tradition of the ruling class to bestow titles to prominent people by using the names of mango varieties.
In some rare cases, it was noticed that there was also a custom of allotting an entire mango grove to respected people as a token for their love and devotion.
32. In the travelogue of renowned Buddhist pilgrims Fa-Hien and Sung-Yun, it is remembered that the Buddha was presented with a mango orchard as a sign of love and affection by Amradarika in 500 BC. This mango orchard was called Amravana and it is used as a place for meditation by Buddha.
33. The more fascinating thing is to know about the Amradarika herself. If you are aware of Urdu/Hindi languages then this word would look very familiar to you. Isn’t that? If you split the term Amradarika in two then it will reveal to you that Amra means mango and darika is a Sanskrit word that is used for the tree.
34. The more I came to know about her, the more I got marvel. The Amradarika as I came to know is a kind of a repentant prostitute. The term Buddhic Magdalen was used for her. In simplest words, she was the daughter of the mango tree. This is what I learned from some ancient scripts that she was very devoted to the Buddha and gave that garden as a charity to him.
35. As excerpted from this source,
“The lady Amra appears more natural. She is called the “Mango girl” in the Southern records…she was a courtesan, and otherwise called Ambapali.” Amba or ambha is a Punjabi word for mangoes.
Do you want to find out which legendry person used to meditate under the shade of a mango tree?
36. Though, the bodhi tree is where the Buddha finds enlightenment. But the legends also claim that Buddha himself is said to have meditated under a mango tree within a silent grove.
38. Here is a proof of how an impression of a mango tree is found in the friezes on the Stupa of Bharut which dates back about 100 BC.
His multiple images in front of a mango tree is indeed a popular theme of Buddhist art.
42. Here, I would like to mention that Buddhist monks are believed to have taken mango fruits with them when traveling from place to place especially for working or teaching in various places of the world for relatively short periods.
And therefore, introduced the fruit to Southern East Asia countries like Malaysia and China around the 4th and 5th century BC.
They have achieved this by planting seeds of mangoes beside the temples and nearby gardens. Usually, it took approximately 5 years for a mango tree to bear fruits from a seedling in the summer season.
The tale of present-day Srilanka conversion to Buddhism
43. Now, this was an interesting time in history when the entire nation was judge by the temperament of the ruler of that era.
According to the Great Chronicle of Ceylon, present-day Sri Lanka converted to Buddhism after an intense and symbolic conversation over mango trees between the Island’s King Tissa and Mahinda. The King was so touched and convinced of the Mahinda knowledge that he converted to Buddhism, and consequently, the rest of the island’s population.
The Mahavamsa recorded:
“What name does this tree bear, O king?”
“This tree is called a Mango.”
“Is there yet another Mango besides this?”
“There are many mango trees.”
“And are there yet other trees besides this mango and the other mangos?”
“There are many trees, sir; but those are trees that are not mangoes.”
“And are there, besides the other mangoes and those trees which are not mangoes, yet other trees?”
“There are yet more of those than of my kin.”
“Is there yet any one besides the kinsfolk and the others?”
“There is yet myself, sir.”
“Good. Thou hast a shrewd wit, O ruler of men.”
Somehow this answer satisfied the Mahinda who initially came here to preach to them about his religion. He was impressed by the king’s quick wit and intelligence, and consequently he started preaching to the entire court.
**(I have provided the Links where they are expected & required).
I am ending this section here. I hope you like this effort and thanks for finding time to read it. Please like, share, and follow my blog so that I keep on writing about trees & more.
Tree stories: The Olive Trees and the Driftwood
It is an interesting anecdote from ancient times when storytelling was considered an important element of everyday life. It was considered a source of inspiration for the general public gatherings of that bygone era.
The story I am intended to share today is from the life of Mullah Nasruddin Hodja who was a contemporary scholar and wise man of his time.
The Olive Trees and the driftwood
This is a short story of a farmer who asked a very decent question from Nasruddin whether or not his olive trees would bear fruits in the coming season.
Oh Hodja! Would my olives 🫒 bear this year?
“They will bear,” said the wise old Mullah.
“How do you know?”
“I just know, that is all.”
Upon saying that, he went away
Sometimes later, it’s so happened that the same farmer saw Nasrudin scurrying his donkey along a seashore, looking for driftwood.
(Driftwood is a kind of wood that has been washed onto a shore or beach, lake, or river by the action of winds, tides or waves)
“There is no wood here, Mullah, I have looked,” he shouted.
Some hours later, the same man saw Nasrudin treading his way home, tired out, still without fuel.
On seeing this, the farmer addressed him mockingly.
“You are a man of knowledge, who can tell whether an olive tree will bear or not. Why can’t you tell whether there is wood on a seashore or not?”
Upon this, Nasruddin wisely replied.
“I know what must be,” confessed Nasrudin, “but I do not know what may be.”
The term driftwood is used for a person who has difficulty making decisions quickly and firmly. The one who hesitates to take decisions on time. On the other hand, olive tree stands firm and grounded. It symbolize the eternal link between man and the earth.
The driftwood also symbolizes the eternal connection of man with the ocean.
This is the contrast difference between an alive tree versus a dead traveling tree that is just going on with the flow. Finding driftwood depends on many factors as they mostly rely on winds and storms to be swept away on the beaches and shores.
Olive trees mean longevity because they are renowned for living for thousands of years.
On the other hand, driftwood reminds us that they are just woody remnants of dead trees that wind up progressing through rivers, lakes, or oceans.
The phrase I know what must signify a classic example of whatever is meant or predestined to happen will happen as indicated by bearing olives.
But I do not what may indicate uncertainty when you are not sure about something that may happen in the future as in the case of not discovering driftwoods along a seashore on that hot summer day.
Nasreddin Hodja is considered a philosopher, Sufi, and wise old man. He is remembered throughout the Middle East for his witty stories and anecdotes. Usually, there is the joke, followed by a moral message which brings the consciousness on the road to realization.
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Reblogging: Denmark approves energy island as they drive forward climate ambitions — A greener life, a greener world
The Danish parliament has approved what will be the world’s first energy island. Denmark approves energy island as they drive forward climate …Denmark approves energy island as they drive forward climate ambitions — A greener life, a greener world
Repost from: ninnys.wordpress.com
Thank you for reading.
Hello dear friends and respected readers, let us figure it out before indulging ourselves further in today’s topic. Is it a painting or a real picture? At first glance, I thought it’s a random picture of a rural setting that the photographer has snapped while roaming around a nearby village. My understanding of this image […]
My thoughts on the oak tree in the courtyard
I found an oak tree while looking through the window of self-awareness. I was planning to live in the present moment when through the window of my mind, I saw this picture of a gigantic oak tree planted deep inside my mind decades ago.
This giant tree took me back to that state of mind when I was looking for meaning in my life. I was rejected, denied and contradicted for so many lesser reasons. They say I am not good with words but the reality is that words are just words they can’t fully express your deepest emotions. Attached emotions to words and we are back to fantasy. This is how we lose reality.
The oak tree in the courtyard symbolised many things for it’s strength and longevity. This is a sacred tree which pays attention to whatever is happening in the present moment and experiencing it without judgement and conclusion.
An oak tree is a symbol of biological and spiritual nourishment, spiritual growth and transformation.
When a monk asked Zhaozhou, an extraordinary Zen master, about the living essence of zen. His answer was simply remarkable and full of wisdom. He replied by pointing towards an oak tree there in the garden.
“A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the living meaning of Zen?.”
Zhaozhou said, “The oak tree in the courtyard.”Quote source: Case 37 from the Mumonkan (Wumenguan) Collection of Zen Koans
The Oak Tree in the Courtyard.
Here, I would like to mention that the Oak tree is believed to be connected to the movements of the planet Mars. It is determined that when the plant Mars comes close to the Earth, it’s supposed to stimulate the roots of the oak. It’s rightly said to be the symbol of fertility and spiritual growth.
Coming close to Mars strengthen the secret connection of the oak tree with the forest where it is growing. Similarly, when Mars went far away, it is the Sun that promotes upward growth causing the Oak to be one of the largest, most influential trees of the world.
There is another anecdote from the tales of the oak tree in the courtyard which is worth mentioning here.
A monk asked Chao-chou, “Has the oak tree Buddha nature?”
Chao-chou said, “Yes, it has.”
The monk said, “When does the oak tree attain Buddhahood?”
Chao-chou said, “Wait until the great universe collapses.”
The monk said, “When does the universe collapse?”
Chao-chou said, “Wait until the oak tree attains Buddhahood.Quote source: The Gateless Barrier, The Wu-Men Kuan (Mumonkan),
Translated by Robert Aitken, Case 37
In both of these anecdotes what does an oak tree stands for? Let’s figure it out.
The oak tree in the Zhaozhou’s yard stands tall and nourishes the ground underneath. It is clearly understood that one should sit like an oak tree with it’s branches truly lost in the sky and it’s roots deeply spread into the ground.
Standing under a mighty shade of an oak tree in the courtyard doesn’t represent our deflecting feelings and beliefs. It teaches us how to overcome hardship in our lives. The awareness about a problem is not a problem itself. But obsession over what we cannot change is the real problem.
Listen closely and you will find out that the monk asked a very profound question from his master. He was seeking an answer of what is the meaning of zen and the master carefully teaches him about mindfulness, living in the present moment. The oak tree here represents the entire universe. When the whole universe is the oak tree, there is no beginning or no end.
Thank you for reading. If you like this article, please comment and follow my blog.
Quote of the day
“If not ignored, nature will cultivate in the gardener a sense of well-being and peace. The gardener may find deeper meaning in life by paying attention to the parables of the garden. Nature teaches quiet lessons to the gardener who chooses to live within the paradigm of the garden.”– Norman H. Hansen, The Worth of Gardening
Nature teaches quiet lessons to the gardener who prefers to see the garden as a set of ideas. Do you believe in spiritual awakening where we can feel, sense or know about our virtuous energy that flows freely through us?
These are the pictures that I recently click while waiting patiently outside an embassy office.
No matter how many expensive cameras and gadgets I purchase for the pleasure of it but when it comes to photography, I am dead. I become numb and don’t know how to beautifully seize a day in pictures. I seldom share my photography because of the criticism I receive afterwards.
Though I do try to take photos because of the large amount of money I have wasted on them. Don’t take me wrong, I do like photography and have no regrets whatsoever. But the idea of taking a perfect picture exhausts me out. I am the kind of person who carelessly takes photos while travelling far away places.
Thank you for reading.
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