People and Trees: Intimately Connected Through the Ages

Trees are considered sacred in many cultures. Tree worship, in one form or another, has been practiced almost universally by ancient peoples in every corner of the globe.Tree of LifeFeatured Image: Tree of Life by Judith Shaw

Trees Speak to the Soul of Human Beings

It is no wonder that trees have captured the human imagination since the beginning of time. Their strength, deeply rooted in the Earth, is an inspiration. Their trunk and branches are a wonder of nature because they stand sturdy and impenetrable most of the time, yet they can flex and sway with the wind when needed.
The whisper of a breeze in their leaves or the sight of ants marching in a straight line up or down their trunks remind us of the magic of nature that trees embody. They live for hundreds or even thousands of years, and so we revere them as keepers of past secrets and sentinels of the future.
Watching their cycles of growth, shedding of leaves, and re-flowering in the spring, people have long perceived trees as powerful symbols of life, death, and renewal. Since the beginning of time, humans have had a sense that trees are sentient beings just like us, that they can feel pain, that they bleed when they are hurt. Trees even look like us. People have a trunk; trees have arms. And so we innately feel a deep connection to them.
Many people say they can feel a tree’s vibrational energy when placing their hand upon its bark. With their deep roots, trees carry significant grounding energy. We naturally feel peace and serenity when walking in the shade of trees or on a forest trail.

Trees Help Us Every Day

A recent study shows that trees remove so much pollution from the air that they “prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in 2010 alone.” When an insect called the emerald ash borer killed off a significant number of trees in the American Midwest in the 1990’s and 2000’s, rates of human death from cardiovascular and respiratory illness increased.
More difficult to quantify is the psychological effect that trees have on people. People who spend time outdoors, or even those who have access to windows looking out at trees, have been shown to have better health than those who do not.

The Universal Tree of Life: Both Ancient and Modern

The concept of a Tree of Life, often symbolizing the connections between all life forms, is found in many religions and philosophies, dating back as early as ancient Egypt. The Egyptian tree of life symbolized creation and represented the chain of events that brought everything into existence.
Fast forward to modern science. The tree has become the quintessential symbol of biological evolution, as its ever-branching image poignantly depicts the unmistakable interconnections between all living species on the Earth.
The beautiful Tree of Life painting at the top of the article was shared with us by artist Judith Shaw. It was inspired by the ancient symbol of the Tree of Life as well as by Sacred Geometry.

91The Tree Leaf and Eternal Life

Consider this beautiful commentary from Thich Nhat Hanh reflecting on a tree leaf:

“I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn and the other leaves were falling. The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. So I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon.’

… That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy. I bowed my head, knowing that I have a lot to learn from the leaf because it is not afraid-it knew nothing can be born and nothing can die.”

thay-2013Cultural Beliefs About Trees

Trees are considered sacred in virtually every place where humans have settled.
There are many profound beliefs surrounding trees that people have held for millennia.
Here are some interesting and touching examples:

  • For the Sng’oi people of Malaysia, a person and a tree can belong with each other, and this relationship is maintained for life. Certain trees and certain people belong together. When a person belongs with a tree, they also belong with its offspring: any trees that grow from the seeds of the first tree, no matter how far the seeds may scatter. The Sng’oi people call upon their intuition to know which child trees have sprung from which parent trees.
  • The World Tree is said to dwell in three worlds: Its roots reach down to the underworld, its trunk sits on the Earth, and its branches extend up to the heavens. Many cultures share a belief that this tree is the Axis Mundi or World Axis which supports or holds up the cosmos. For the Mayan peoples, the Axis Mundi was a massive Ceiba (in other cultures, it is called Kapok) tree that stands at the center of the world. The Mayan beliefs reflect that human souls first came into being as the sacred white flowers on the branches of the Ceiba tree. Souls of the dead Mayan ancestors rose from the roots of the Axis Mundi up through its branches and into the celestial realms.
  • In Germanic regions, it was believed that mankind was created from tree trunks, echoing the perception that people and trees have much in common.
  • In Sweden, some trees were considered “wardens” and could guard a home from bad luck. The warden was usually a very old tree growing on the lot near the home. The family living there had such great respect for the tree that they would often adopt a surname related to the name of the tree.
  • yggdrasil_by_seless-d4caiaxA well-known sacred tree in Norse mythology was Yggdrasil, a giant ash tree that was said to link and shelter the nine worlds that were believed to exist.
  • In Irish and English folklore, fairies would be found wherever Ash, Oak, and Hawthorne trees grew together. Hawthorn trees were regarded as a powerful symbol of protection, and were often planted near houses to ward off lightning as well as evil spirits. On the dawn of Beltane, it was believed that women who bathed in the dew from a Hawthorne blossom would become beautiful, and men who washed their hands in the dew would become skilled craftsmen.
  • Buddhists have a deep reverence for the Bodhi tree, a type of fig tree with heart-shaped leaves, beneath which the Buddha is said to have meditated for 49 days, trying to reconcile his mind to the fact that there was suffering in the world. On the 49th day, he stood and thanked the tree for providing shade for him, and in that instant he attained enlightenment. Today, in the same location where the Buddha is believed to have sat, there grows a descendant of that same Bodhi tree. Buddhist myths say that the tree will live there until the world is destroyed, and the place where it grows will be the last place to be destroyed; and when the world is reborn, that site will be the first place to appear.
  • The villagers of Piplantri, in Rajasthan, India, celebrate the birth of each little girl by planting 111 trees in her honor. The entire village works together to plant and care for the trees. This tradition not only ensures that the environment will be able to support the increasing population of the village, but it has also brought harmony and a drop in crime to the village.
  • In Malaysia, people maintain a very intimate relationship with trees. “There is a practice of tree planting around houses to the extent that the walls and wooden structures are allowed to give way to the roots of creeping plants, purposely sown at the bases of these structures.” The graveyards in Malaysia are covered so thickly with trees that the entire grounds are cool and sheltered from the tropical sun. The trees are allowed to take root into the graves and it is said that the trees whisper prayers to the creator asking for forgiveness of past transgressions of those buried in that place.

Source: http://www.pachamama.org/blog/people-and-trees-intimately-connected-through-the-ages

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Listening With the Heart to Those Who Cannot Speak

Dear Freinds,
this article makes hope and made me cry at the same time! As I am also an empath  and an emotional intuitive, I was in many situations where I could feel the pain of animals. Wherer the energetic field talked to me about their horror and suffering. And some of them shared their happiness, their deep passion for life and for a connection with human beings. It is time we take better care of our fellow animal friends! A wonderful story that fits beautifully to the time we are in – the time to call back the animals into co-creation of a new – harmonious world for all beings!! AHO! Love and best connections!!!
Edith
How a chance encounter with a Horse demonstrates the power of listening with the heart.

As an emotional intuitive, I often find myself called into unchartered territory to be of service to help individuals and animals. It is in these moments that I witness the greatest potential for miracles. Synchronicity does not shout; it whispers, to see if you are listening and courageous enough to be of service.
After a long hike on a Sunday afternoon, my husband and I were famished, but we had arrived at our favorite restaurant only to find that it wouldn’t be open for another hour. It seemed like an easy choice to simply find another place to eat.
But something in my gut said, “Wait!”
We decided to aimlessly tour the countryside for that hour and eventually crossed a street named after my hometown. We giggled and turned the corner. Strolling past the rolling hills of cattle, horses, and sheep; we felt at peace.

Further down the road, I had a strange feeling as we approached a horse isolated in a small pen 25 feet in diameter. He was separated from a group of horses across the road. Intuitively, I could feel the pain and anxiety the horse was experiencing. I told my husband that something was wrong and he asked if he should pull over.
Synchronicity had led me here to be of service so my darling husband happily obliged. Afraid to get out of the car for fear of overstepping personal boundaries, I could feel the inner struggle between being of service to this horse who couldn’t speak for himself and the fear of being yelled at or shot. But the horse’s suffering was too intense to disregard; I decided to act with courage.

horse-eyeI approached the horse in his pen slowly, allowing him to see the loving intention in my eyes and heart. I telepathically let him know that I was there to connect with him and that I cared about what he was feeling. I felt an immediate burst of joy come from inside his heart.

The horse allowed me to feel his deep grief and anxiety. He felt unacceptable and alone. He felt a strong sense of panic, anxiety, humiliation, abandonment, and bewilderment. He didn’t know who he could trust and was terribly unhappy in the tiny pen filled with his own feces that he was left in. This left him feeling humiliated and rejected.
The horse’s pen was one of those pens that had been used for breaking them. I saw a flash of the horse’s past where he was beaten into submission by previous owners, men who had whipped him repeatedly.
The experiences had left him emotionally scarred. Being left alone in that pen told him that he was unacceptable psychologically. I could feel that no matter how many times he had tried to trust, he had been consistently betrayed, mistreated, and left alone. He longed to be free, grazing with the other horses in the pasture. Most people do not understand that horses, like other conscious animals, form attachments and have real emotions like humans.
With all of this information, I knew I wanted to overcome my own fear of being misunderstood and potentially harmed in order to do what I could to help the horse relay this message to his current owner.
I left a detailed note and my phone number with the owner and let the horse know that his wishes had been communicated. He responded by trying to play with me, grabbing with his mouth at the ends of my clothing to pull me in to the pen with him. He really wanted to connect with someone who saw him for the beautiful and intelligent spirit that he is.

horse-pen

On our way home, I was surprised to receive a phone call from the horse’s owner and could therefore explain our chance encounter in more detail. “You are very in tune!” she said, to my surprise and delight.

She told me that the horse had bonded with her daughter but since she had just had knee surgery, she was not able to get out to see him. This explained why he felt so abandoned and alone. She went on to tell me that the horse had seven previous owners, many of whom had severely beat him and forced him to do very hard work. Most recently, he had been relocated from Oklahoma where someone in their family had passed away.
“Did you notice the broken gate on the pen?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied. “He broke free during a thunderstorm one night about two months ago” she said.
Could you imagine being trapped in a small pen alone in the dark during a violent thunder and lightning storm? Just like you, the horse was afraid as he had no where to hide and was terrified.
“But he lived in Oklahoma” she said. “They have great big storms there.”

She didn’t understand that horses are just like people. We all need shelter and a place to feel safe. Even horses get scared. I offered solutions to help the horse adjust to his new home and family in a more interconnected way by possibly contacting the owner of the adjacent property to see if the horse could socialize with the others. She was very grateful and happy to respond to make the situation better immediately. I was happy that I did not allow my fear to get in the way of trying to alleviate the suffering of another being. It was an honor to communicate empathically with a beautiful life force who could not speak for himself.
Many people do not understand the emotional intelligence of other species, but would be changed forever once they did. Words create division but we can connect universally through the empathic language of the heart. No matter what life form you find yourself engaging with, try practicing deep listening and speaking through the emotional compass of your heart. What you will discover is that the world is a much more interesting place.

WORDS BY DAWN AGNOS
Source: http://upliftconnect.com/listening-with-the-heart/