Read & Reflect: Advice from a Tree

Read & Reflect - Esther Neela Blog

 

Advice from a Tree

By Ilan Shamir

 

Dear Friend,

Stand Tall and Proud

Sink your roots deeply into the Earth

Reflect the light of your true nature

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 like 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

Simple pleasures

Earth, fresh air, light

Be content with your natural beauty

Drink plenty of water

Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes

Be flexible

Remember your roots

Enjoy the view!

Advice from a Tree, By Ilan Shamir - Esther Neela Blog

 

Read & Reflect

Read & Reflect - Esther Neela Blog


“You may control a mad elephant;

You may shut the mouth of the bear and the tiger;
Ride the lion and play with the cobra;
By alchemy you may learn your livelihood;
You may wander through the universe incognito;
Make vassals of the gods; be ever youthful;
You may walk in water and live in fire;
But control of the mind is better and more difficult.”
~Paramahansa Yogananda~

Reflection:

On a daily basis, our mind tends to run “wild” with numerous thoughts which in turn influences our emotions. Not all thoughts will be positive. Some thoughts can be negative too. The more negative thoughts we have, the more negative emotions and feelings we carry with us. As such, it is necessary to constantly to “tame” the mind. We can tame the mind with various techniques – such as meditation, breaths, prayers and more.

By observing our own thoughts throughout the day, we are actually making conscious efforts to tune our thoughts to something more positive and beneficial (if it was negative). Failure to take care of one’s own mind (that is the thoughts) not only disturbs our emotions, but indirectly our life too….

Spend some daily moments to “stop” and observe your thoughts…..it might not be an easy task at first. If we do it consistently to “check” on our thoughts, it becomes a good habit gradually.

Halipuu and My Tree Friend : Adopt and / or Hug a Tree

I wrote some days back that I shall write more about the tree I have adopted. I have adopted a young birch tree in Finland and I have given her the name “Joy”.

This adoption was made possible by Pappas and his family via a program called “Halipuu” (https://www.halipuu.com/) in Finland. The whole family gets involved in various ways. Pappas daughter, Riitta does the maintenance of the internet site and takes care of the practical operations. The person who is communicating to me with regards my tree friend is Riitta.

General Information of the “Halipuu” initiative…https://www.halipuu.com/what-is-halipuu/
“Halipuu” is in Finnish for hugging tree. One can adopt his own hugging tree from forest in Finnish Lapland for a period of five years from wherever you are….

You are also free to visit the tree and of course hug it! 🙂

Not only that, from wherever we are, we can choose the accessories we wish to decorate our adopted tree and it will be done.

Once adopted a tree, we will be sent information on the tree (such as the exact location), image of the tree, certificate of adoption and the tree gets marked with our preferred name.

Other links:
Who is behind this whole program? https://www.halipuu.com/who-we-are/
Terms and Conditions: https://www.halipuu.com/terms-and-conditions/
Tree as a gift: https://www.halipuu.com/gift-trees/
Tree Selection Process: https://www.halipuu.com/how-to-select-your-tree/
Visit Your Tree: https://www.halipuu.com/visit-your-tree/

Despite the winter season, Riitta took amazing pictures of Joy and sent it over to me…..

Joy in wintersleep
My tree friend, Joy – in winter sleep. Picture by Riitta of Halipuu, https://www.halipuu.com/
Joy from close by
My tree friend, Joy – close up. Picture by Riitta of Halipuu, https://www.halipuu.com/
Marking Joy
My tree friend, Joy – getting marked. Picture by Riitta of Halipuu, https://www.halipuu.com/

When I decided to adopt a tree via Halipuu, I had to go through the list of trees that was put for adoption (https://www.halipuu.com/trees.html). There were big trees, but the young birch tree immediately captured my heart and I went for it. No second thoughts for this, it was a long distance love for me! 🙂

Trees ground me…in fact it is important for me to be “grounded”. When I feel “grounded” or rooted, I can thrive and perform better in my daily duties. Trees offer me that and the distance or the place where my tree friend is does not matter. And if you are well versed with chakras or energy points in our body, the root chakra (located at the base of the spine) is the first chakra and its energy is based on the earth element. It is the foundation and is responsible for our sense of safety and security. The tree spirit or earth elements such as trees help us to stay firm to our grounds. Will discuss in detail on this in some other blog post….

I did look up on many other tree adoption programs but Halipuu is what I liked the best. While reading the adoption program offered via Halipuu, I had already established a connection….Perhaps it is the energy of my tree friend, Joy that has pulled me into this…. 🙂

As a regular meditator myself and a former meditation teacher, I instantly can connect to Joy wherever I am when I am in meditation mode. It is such a wonderful feeling of being surrounded by the forest energy and to connect with the tree energy.

In a blog by Jocelyn Mercado, she writes more of “People and Trees: Intimately Connected Through the Ages”.
https://www.pachamama.org/blog/people-and-trees-intimately-connected-through-the-ages

There are many articles such as this….Many have realised the tremendous benefits of connecting to Mother Nature beatiful creation, trees. Does it really matter the location where you wish to be connected to your tree friend? Not necessary….

I am truly full of deep appreciation to be given the opportunity to adopt a tree friend in Finland even though I am in Singapore. All of this will not have been possible if not for Pappas and his lovely family.

*Not only that, we humans tend to fuss or worry about this and that. Trees do provide a “listening ear” to all our worries. Huolipuu (the worry tree) takes care of this. Head to this link: https://www.halipuu.com/worry-tree/ and write down your worries. No one reads your worries, but your worries will be brought into the Halipuu forest and they get burnt on the Seita-stone. The burned ashes are then scattered to the roots of the Worry tree. You have now brought your worries down to our earthy friend….nothing to worry about!!

 

Tree: Adopt and/or Hug

In 2018, that is this year, I wanted to “Adopt a Tree”. I am sure many of us would have heard of programs such as “Adopt a Tree” or “Hug a Tree”. While some countries are very active in promoting such programs, not all countries have the same kind of programs. So, I went around searching. The logical thing for anyone to do is to search for programs such as these wherever one is located. I searched for this kind of possible programs where I am (in Singapore). I was not totally satisfied with what is being offered here. Therefore, I went and searched for programs offered by and in other countries. 

Before I go onto discuss about the programs offered in other countries, let me briefly touch on the kind of program Singapore has. 

Singapore does not have “Adopt a Tree” kind of program. But it has a different kind of approach as featured in “Garden City Fund” website. There are many initiatives such as…donating for a certain need (such as orchid conservation, plant-a-coral, seed-a-reef and more) or to “Plant-A-Tree”.


Plant-A-Tree Programme is an opportunity for individuals to get involved caring for the trees and environment. There is also Tree Planting Schedule and you can check out the areas where it is taking place and the time too. One tree costs $200 (in Singapore Dollars) and your donation is for a sapling – a young tree. The person who plants it does not get a permanent acknowledge signs for the trees he planted. He will be given a certificate after the planting session.


Details:

Garden City Fund
https://www.gardencityfund.org/index.html

Plant-A-Tree Programme
https://www.gardencityfund.org/pat/index.html

Donate for a cause – such as orchid conservation, plant-a-coral…
https://www.gardencityfund.org/donate-now/index.html

I shall reveal about the tree that I “adopted” and on the program soon….. 🙂

Happy Browsing!


Want to know more about Forest Bathing / Forest Therapy / Shinrin-yoku
Visit the blog post that I discussed on this…..

Adopt a Tree or Hug a Tree - Esther Neela Blog

Forest Therapy / Forest Bathing / Shinrin-yoku

In my younger days, when I was introduced to the basic elements present on earth such as wind fire, earth, sea and sky, I tend to favour the earth element more than the others. Whenever I think of earth, the trees come to my mind. I love trees or greenery. Back in my younger days, there was always an opportunity to be close by frangipani trees, casuarina trees and more. These days the varieties of trees found in Singapore differs. Of course, we do have the “common” trees that can be found along the roadside.

Trees are great healers too! In Japan, there is something known as shinrin-yoku or forest therapy. Forest therapy or forest bathing (as some may call it) is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest. Walking through a forest or to a place of greenery does provide someone with health benefits. There are many articles on this and below are two of those articles.

Forest Therapy / Forest Bathing / Shinrin-yoku - Esther Neela Blog

 

Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/17/536676954/forest-bathing-a-retreat-to-nature-can-boost-immunity-and-mood

The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health
The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health

Spending time with trees or plants not only improves our overall health, but it just allows us to be in the moment. Quite often in our life, we are occupied with many matters that we may at times feel disconnected to our own self. Forest Therapy / Bathing is a good idea to get ourselves connected and unified – with the help of the energy and vibrations of the trees.

For those of us who are city dwellers and do not have access to “forest” or a place near us that provides us greenery that much, there are many ways we can experience “forest therapy / bathing” too.

Some ways:
a) have some greenery around us such as green plants around our work desk or our homes
b) If work requires you to be desk bound, one way is to have a desktop wallpaper or screensaver of greenery or forest. At regular intervals, close your eyes, and keep that visual forest in your mind. As each moment passes, imagine yourself being in the premise and enjoying the “green” moments.
c) build a Zen garden or invest where you can “draw” your own Zen garden, such as can be found here in this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=SG&v=MNH9jpwvc7Q&hl=en-GB
d) If you are the type who prefers fish and aquarium, you also can have that in your indoor space to have an “escape” or feel “closer” to nature.
e) neighborhood parks also gives a form of relaxation. Look for parks nearby you and make a point to go for walking around that place.
f) If you have a Koi pond or any pond, spending time near it, also can give you a form of relaxation. I find this works for me well. Spending time near a Koi pond provides me with some “fresh” vibrations.

There are many ways where one can always reconnect to nature on a daily basis. It is a matter of effort and discipline on our part to do that.

Make sure you have a “date” with nature daily! 🙂

Forest Therapy / Forest Bathing / Shinrin-yoku - Esther Neela Blog