“I’m With The Trees”

Rout with Realization’s Rays

By Nayaswami Narayan
October 17, 2017

After a long day of work selling produce on a hot summer day, I went to practice my soccer skills by kicking a ball with my eternal friend…the wall (this was a special wall from the junior high school in my neighborhood). After practicing I was hot and tired. I turned around from the wall and saw the trees swaying in the warm summer breeze.

Strange as it sounds, I had been thinking about a question, “Where are you between thoughts?”, from a Joseph Campbell book. I couldn’t think my way through that one!

Upon seeing the beauty of the trees and due to my physical exhaustion, I surrendered and softened to their healing reality. They were swaying and mesmerized me with their natural rhythm. They completely cooperated with the flow of divine grace through the wind. I felt their leaves lapping a soothing balm over my spirit. Spontaneously, I moved into a state of expanded awareness. It was a touch of transcendence through the trees. “I’m with the trees.” was my natural response to the question. I repeated to myself silently, “I’m with the trees.”

Years later when I came to Ananda and met Nayaswami Bharat (better known as the naturalist Joseph Cornell author of Sharing Nature), I learned of a Sharing Nature activity he created called, “I am the mountain.” It’s an activity with a partner where one says “I am” and the other says what their experience of nature is at that time (i.e. “I am… the mountain.”). When I first tried this activity, I remembered my experience many years back on that summer day.

My “aha” moment of being with the trees lifted the veil of separation between me and all life. Paramhansa Yogananda said beautifully in his poem “My India”:

Her soldier saints are away,
To rout with realization’s ray
The bandits of hate, prejudice, and patriotic selfishness;
And to burn the walls of separation dark
Between children of the One, One Father.

How can we rout our delusions with realization’s ray? Be with the saints! Touch their transcendence! They are like those humble, silent, loving trees I saw on that summer day. They radiate goodness, fresh oxygen, and shade for us to thrive spiritually. Let us sit in their presence drawing on their spiritual magnetism through silent inner communion.

Through meditation and the ray of realization deep, let us rout our delusions of sleep and awaken to the reality of oneness with our One, One Father!

Joy to you,
Narayan