Many of us have some time or the other planted a tree or contributed towards planting a tree. It is a very simple thing, and we feel pleased that indeed we have done a great deed by doing so and then forget about it. Not many of us remember what genre of tree we planted, what the appearance of the tiny plant was when planted and nearly 95% of us do not ever bother to go back and even check on the growth of the tree we planted. I would have done the same if I wasn’t guided by my guru Kamal Tolia about the right method of tree planting.
On the morning of 19th October our group Lotus Healing Seva Group joined the Mega Tree Planting Activity jointly conducted by Lions Club International and the Aga Khan Development Network. It was there that the group members realised that our tree planting method was quite different from rest of the people. As guided by Mr.Sethi of the Lions Group, each member selected a plant of their choice, and walked in a group holding a plantling in one hand and a jerry can or bottle of water in the other.
The group decided to select one area of the forest and formed pairs. Each pair chose two ground holes previously dug up. The pairs then prayed at their respective ground holes, asking Gaia (mother Earth) to kindly accept the tree which is being planted. Then the plant was placed in the hollow and the plastic removed away from it. We all put soil covering at the base of the plant, well covering the roots while chanting the Aum Mantra and giving reiki energy from our hearts and hands. We patted the soil with our bare hands as our love flowed into the soil from our hands. Next we watered the plant with love, by pouring water over our hands and letting it overflow onto the plant. Once done we did the Shanti or Peace Mantra at our respective plants, visualised them as strong beautiful trees, and told our plants that we love them. Had a good look at our little trees which we have now adopted. I use the word adopted, as each member who planted the tree, has been and will be sending reiki energy daily to their individual trees and will be monitoring their growth time and again.
Having accomplished this sacred act of tree planting, we gathered all the plastic bags which were holding the plant prior to planting and put them in the bin and made sure not to leave any sort of litter around. Some of our group members like Laxmi and Prafulla were quite keen to water and give healing to plants which had been carelessly just planted but not watered by some school students who were ignorant of the right method of planting a tree.
As per Hindu Scriptures we are not meant to cut down any tree at all. However, if due to any pressing requirement if we do cut down a tree-then we are supposed to plant other five trees somewhere to repent for that sin. After having planted a tree, we are meant to be looking after it, nurturing it, protecting it till it reaches our own height and is woody and firm. Had we all been observing this ancient knowledge, we all would be breathing a fresher air and having a pleasant environment all around us. By cutting down trees we not only bring in changes of atmosphere, but also affect the habitats of many living beings. The pretty little butterflies and birds, the cute little insects that were a common sight when we were growing up have been snatched from our children by us the parents by depriving them of certain species in our surroundings.
While on our way out we decided to do our “circle of love” for the park. We circled around a huge tree, holding hands, visualizing the whole City Park in that tree, saying prayers and then sending out Reiki vibrations to the park and all the creatures living there via the tree. To our amazement a lot of monkeys thronged on to the tree, and once we had finished they all dispersed as if they just came to receive the energy.
This is the least we could do for Mother Earth who has nurtured us all selflessly and at the same time honour the great ambitions of the Late Prof. Wangari Maathai who aimed at a greener Kenya and a greener World.
The LHSG members that participated in this tree planting were Prafulla, Laxmi, Ayala, Shalini, Sofia, Mamta, Nalina, Mridula, Kamal,adhumita, Anuradha, Punita, Monica, Ushma, Kailesh, and the youth members were Pranav, Anoushka, Aleena and Harleen.
By MONICA GOKALDAS LHSG Kenya