The Gift of the Bhodi Tree

Mother Nature stirs, rolling over in her sleep. We are now more than half-way between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. The earth begins to awaken to a year many believe to be a time of great shift in the human consciousness. However you feel about 2012, staying grounded is key to riding the waves of uncertainty and change in the world today. I recently spent time in a banyan grove learning some important lessons about grounding that I’d like to share.

Also known as the Bhodi tree, the banyan has a long history of being a spiritual helper. It is said that the Buddah gained enlightenment while meditating under a banyan tree. It is thought to symbolize eternal life because of its endless expansion.

The smooth trunk supports a magnificent crown, a globe-like eruption of shiny dark green elliptical leaves the size of a child’s hand. Indeed, with a child’s unbridled enthusiasm, it thrusts its branches and canopy high into the sky. Branches veer off and grow too quickly to support themselves. So they send down vertical “air roots” which, as soon as they penetrate the ground, grow into fat, strong ancillary trunks, which in turn, support more canopy growth above and more branches send down more vertical support pillars. One tree appears to be dozens of trees; yet all are part of the same organism. The more a banyan reaches for the sky, the more it must support and ground itself, sending roots downward to sustain its expanding self.

Let me repeat that: The more it grows and expands, the more it must ground itself. That was the lesson for me from the Bhodi tree. The more I grow, expand, and reach for my full potential, the more grounded I need to be to sustain myself.

Breathe, meditate, touch the earth. Garden, venture and adventure into nature. Lean against the sturdy trunk of any tree and it will be your banyan tree.

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