Trees are our closest relatives. What they exhale we inhale, what we exhale, they inhale
Sadhguru: Trees keep our lives going, just like the outer part of our lungs. You cannot ignore your body if you want to live, and in no way is the planet different from this. What you call “my body” is just a piece of this planet. And the very essence of the spiritual process is about just this.
When we say “spirituality,” we are not talking about looking up or looking down. It is about turning inward and knowing the nature of what “this” is. The first fundamental fact of looking inward is always to see that you are naturally very much a part of everything around you. Without that realization, there is really no spiritual process. That is not the goal of spirituality, that is the fundamental – that who you are, or what you think you are, is just a part of everything else.
Today, modern physics is establishing that the whole existence is just one energy. Scientific evidence is establishing that every particle in your body is in constant communication with the whole cosmic space. The spiritual process is about enhancing one’s perception and bringing this into one’s experience. Anyways, what is a dry scientific fact that doesn’t change anybody’s life except trigger the imagination? If instead it becomes a living experience, then to care for what’s around you as you care for yourself is just a natural process.
A tree is not a project for you; a tree is your life.
It is an outside part of yourself. It breathes for you every day. It is more than your lungs; your lungs cannot do anything without trees. We made people understand this in very simple ways and the rural folk, the way they stood up and the commitment, focus and enthusiasm with which they went about, has been so phenomenal. Just seeing this has been such a joy.
When I go to the villages and see people who have to work for their bread every day, when I see them taking time off and doing this work, it really brings tears to me because these are not people who know what climate change is. These are not people who know what global warming is. These are people who have the least in the world, the smallest carbon footprint on the planet, if they have any at all. Even a sparrow leaves a larger carbon footprint than these people because they just live off the land. They don’t have power in their homes, they are not burning anything. They are the most eco-friendly people, but we are asking them to do this. And their response and their enthusiasm have been so fantastic. I hope these simple folks’ audacity and concern to plant a seemingly impossible number of trees will inspire many across the world.
The above article is an excerpt from Sadhguru’s acceptance speech when he received the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar, India’s highest recognition for environmental work. The award was given to Project GreenHands on June 5, 2010, for its efforts in mobilizing over 2 million volunteers to plant 17 million trees.
Sadhguru: When I was going to school, I missed school every opportunity I got. I used to be a very agile climber of anything. They sent me to school with a tiffin box and water bottle and I had a bicycle, so I was equipped for the day. I would go give my attendance at the school assembly and then ride off on my bicycle to the biggest tree in the campus, climb to the topmost branch possible and go right to the edge of a tender branch and sit there.
The branch would just sway and sway and after two or three hours I would get into such a state, I would become so blissful like I just want to fly away from that place. I would just sit there the whole day. They hadn’t given me a watch when I was that young so when I saw all the other school kids going back home, I knew the time was up. I would get down and go back. Only much later, when I started meditating, I realized that when I was swaying I was meditating without even knowing what I was doing.
To Trees in Tennessee
O’ Blessed Beings
Your green raiment
source of our breath and being
Your stoic stance
mistaken for lifeless existence
Your immense presence
could escape human sense
This lack of cognizance
could mean a disastrous consequence
But for now you and me
in this intimate embrace
The joy of sharing each other’s breath
is beyond the joy of having a breathless wench
I can only nourish you with tears of gratitude
When I come back in winter
you will stand naked and gray
Giving a taste of what the world would be
without you being gay
You, a permanent resident
Me, a wandering vagabond
But can I ever break my breath bond?
Wait till I am done with my deeds
I will lie at your roots to nourish you with my body’s juice
To become the sap of your sap
To put back all that is Hers into Her lap
Till then you and me in this romantic romp
Lest someone should notice
Let us carry it on without any pomp