The Spiritual Life of Trees

talks by

Adi Da Samraj

April 28, 1996

The Tree Is the Fundamental Structure

The plant form, or the plant structure, is the basic form that all other forms share. You can observe the tree in the midst of the human body.

The root of the human body is a plant. The trees became humankind and every other kind of being. Mysteriously, this is so.

The plant is the fundamental structure—you see the same structure in the tree and fundamentally in any form of vegetation. Even all the other beings that actually move from their position—not just move in the sense of growing, which even trees do—have this rooted, balanced, tree-process at the core. But that core tends to be forgotten in all this moving, confrontation, and memory...

I have used many times the metaphor of the Upanishadic story of the two birds in the tree—the fruit-eating bird and the Witness bird. The tree itself can be seen as the same metaphor. There is an attitude, a disposition inherent in the tree-form, the core, the spinal structure of the being.

One can be the body-mind that is just functioning, detached from the consciousness of its essential nature and root. Or one can abide in the Native Position, this core structure, as one is before any thoughts, sensation, or presumption—as simple feeling-awareness itself.

The tree, the vegetation, is the origin of the form with which you are identifying. It is interesting, when you hear of evolutionary accountings based on scientific-materialistic considerations, they show how "this became that", "that became that", and "that became the human after all that time"—they don't show any trees at the beginning of it!

It is as if they have not even considered this yet. Their descriptions are only about independently moving life-forms like human beings.

It is a kind of conceit to presume that the origin of Man has to be like Man. You tend to presume that it couldn't possibly be anything else. You can handle maybe some inheritance through the animals, including the apes, and down to the little amoeba, perhaps because they are all sort of independently moving individuals. You cannot see the tree in them anymore, you see.

But you cannot accept that the source of human functioning and awareness could be trees. And the trees come from something that falls out of the sky. Everything that falls or moves or seems in this conditional domain is made of star substance. Every cell in your body was originally star material—every fraction of your physical appearance.

Like those dolphins and belugas there, [Adi Da Samraj points to a painting on the wall in the room] you live in a fluid. The air that you are always breathing—which, if you are feelingly aware, you do not only to get some chemical into your body, but to equalize and balance the body, and to work the energy of the body—you are just breathing this fluid like the fishes do.

Of course, in the case of dolphins and belugas, they survive on air from above the water, and not through gill power. Yet, they are down there in the water. They have to keep coming up to get some air, but they are fundamentally in the water.

You can see the tree in them also—head to tail there, that spinal line. It is always the same motionlessness, you see, except for the energy process in it.
It is the tree.

Learn It in the Tree

You have to learn it in the tree. The tree is your right asana, or disposition.

When I am in California, I like to visit the redwoods and the sequoias. The redwoods and the sequoias have the sign and disposition of standing there, just as that form, basically just as it looks, all the time. They are always standing right there and getting bigger, increasing the profundity of conductivity. A massive being like that—doing just that for over 2,000 years—is a huge energy system. It can be felt through subtler sensitivity.

Trees are not necessarily what you call a "Spiritual" system. Of course, there are trees, and then there are trees. There are Great Trees, and there are just big, good trees.

In the trees, it is not all Kundalini energy or even beyond that. It is natural force—great natural force, great etheric force. You can resonate with trees readily, because they are very present at the etheric level. And there may be some trees who are great beings of some degree or other—but they are, like among the humans, more rare, like human Real-God-Realizers of any degree.

Perhaps Great Trees are not as scarce as Great Realizers among the humans. But it is only the Great ones, the truly Great Trees, that could be characterized as "Spiritual".

If you cut them all down, you see, you are cutting the link to your own root-disposition. That disposition is unconscious in human beings. You do not know, generally, that you are trees. Therefore, you don't tend to do what trees do.

You tend to do what monkeys do, or fruit-eating birds do [see Two Birds in the Tree]. You think you are separate from the tree. The Witness bird is identifying with the core of the tree, and beyond it. The Witness bird is in the tree position—not in the limb or peripheral position, or even the bird position as independent of the tree altogether.

It is at rest, feeling the depth of its Native Position. The Witness feels that depth energetically, as well as identifying it as Consciousness Itself.

In that disposition of the tree, there is a kind of "Perfect Practice". It is not the Divinely Awakened Realization inherently, but it is not impossible that Great Trees could be Divinely Awakened by Me. Therefore, I like to visit them.

I do not have to contact all trees physically, so I especially contact some trees. I occasionally establish another "pole" in the form of a tree. Sometimes I tell people about it and sometimes I do not. It is not necessary for people to know unless I want them to make some sort of use of it.

There are some specific trees at the Ruchira Sannyasin Hermitage Ashrams that I have Indicated to My devotees to serve—like Skyway, Grace Straightens, and Baptize Each One.

Also, it is strictly taboo to cut down trees on the Ruchira Sannyasin Hermitage Ashrams without My permission. At Adidam Samrajashram (Naitauba, Fiji), the native forests have never been touched by human beings. They must be preserved—not only by keeping the life going, but by keeping the old trees going, protecting them from things that may damage or kill them.

There is also an "experimental" banyan tree on Naitauba that spontaneously appeared, attached to the base of a palm tree trunk. It didn't get quite rooted as it might, but it did get held in place, and it did get served. It has grown very, very slowly—I have been noticing it now for perhaps eight years or more.

It has been quite a number of years now already. I've been having things done around it and on it, cutting away palm tree bulk and trimming the tree, keeping it properly in sun, and guiding its growth. It has been very stunted or slow-growing this whole time. It is on the sand there.

So that is also a kind of tree with which I have associated. It is not a Great Tree. It is a potential Great Tree, perhaps. But at this point, it is a kind of "pole" that I use relative to keeping things growing under such inauspicious conditions. I saw recently that it was taking hold better, it was beginning to look like it was overcoming the limitations.

The Yoga of the Tree

In My "Sadhana Years", I experienced times when, while walking outside, as soon as I came into eye contact with the vegetation, the energy of the body would leap out.

The unity with the trees would be inherently obvious—the vast space of it, the life-space of it would be revealed. I would hold the trees. I was not merely being affectionate—it wasn't that kind of a thing. My intention was to have close contact.

When I held on to the trees, I could feel the "current" working in them. It is the same as in the spinal line of the human being—very profound and equalized. They are in samadhi. Trees are true contemplatives. Their contemplation is constant. Especially the Great Trees.

There is this intense force, spinal force, central force. It is the same force as felt in the human being, when it is allowed, and unlocked from the knots.

Those occasions were not absolutely unique. There had been similar incidents in childhood also. The later occasions were a relaxation and a kind of recollection of My association with trees when I was a child.

When I was a child, I would have the same experience, because there were woods all around. I used to spend My time there. I preferred spending time in the woods more than doing things like sports. My purpose was to be there among those trees and feel the likeness to the spinal force.

You could say there was a kind of initiation associated with that, or coming into coincidence with the energy form, with real knowing. Of course, this occurred on many other occasions as well, but there among those trees it was so. So I used to like to go to the woods when I was a child, and spend a lot of time there every day.

There was not only a recollection of this childhood experience of the likeness to the spinal force, but a noticing of the importance of it. I was noticing what I had always been noticing. The spinal force is the primal structure of the body-mind. The fundamental structure is in the trees. Trees are at the origin of the life-process that is associated with humankind also.

Vegetation—particularly what can be taken harmlessly from the trees, that which they give off freely—is the natural food, then. You may have to prepare the body to use it, but that is not a big deal usually.

There is a kind of life-code information in vegetation. It is knowledge in the body, this nutrition. It is a likeness, and (therefore) it allows the body's recognition of its fundamental form and structure and equanimity, or basis for equanimity. This is why I recommend to you to practice right diet in this form, and to consistently do so.

It is a knowledge. Where did you get that knowledge? From those trees. When you allow the body to be coincident with their message, their energy, their properties, the body feels good—generally speaking, if other things are not interfering.

Then the life-force is steady, as in a tree—rather than jiggly, like in a monkey or a busy human. The energy is profoundly steady. It is profound.

Why bother yourself with inherited cravings in this silly animal body that pretends it is not a plant, that pretends it is not steady as a tree, that it is more like the fruit-eating bird [1] and the jiggly monkey. Why take its advice? Try this diet. See how it feels, you see. It feels good. You see? You don't have to listen to the jiggly monkey anymore.

When I speak of the frontal yoga, I am not merely talking about something down the front of your body. Energy is all-surrounding. That is why I tell you to practice conductivity. One of the elements of conductivity practice is to "radiate from the heart in all directions".

Therefore, the native form is the tree form. That is the model of conductivity. The energy descends all around—even just natural energy. Likewise, you can feel Me, My Divine Spirit-Force, beyond that. All of that simply Inheres in My "Brightness".

1 A reference to an Upanishadic story.

Two Birds in the Tree

There is a description in one of the old Upanishads—to which I have referred to a number of times recently—of some teacher speaking to a devotee and saying, "Just imagine a tree in the midst of the woods. There are two birds in it. One of them is busy eating the fruit and the other simply stands by and witnesses."

This is a description of the human being or the conditionally manifested, apparent individual in any form.

It is a description of the body-mind and the disposition that precedes it.

The tree is the nervous system, the spinal line, and so on.

The fruit-eating bird is the psycho-physical personality, active with its objects.

The Witness-bird is also, however, always true—even though the body-mind is active, even though the mind is moving.

You are always active as the Witness, no matter what arises.

Even now—even of attention itself—you are simply the Witness of it.

(from the Fear No More Zoo & Gardens site)