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The Spiritual Lessons Of Falling Trees

Last Saturday, we were hit by a fierce cyclone.

It happened in the early morning at around 6:30AM. I heard rattling all around the house and the sound of the wind roaring, battering the roof. The electricity went down for about 40 minutes and so I had to do my morning Yoga by candlelight.

The whole thing was a short-lived affair of about half an hour at most. Yet, when I opened the blinds on one of my windows, the view looked strangely different.

I could see more of the landscape than I was used to.

“No, it can’t be,” I said to myself, and then rapidly slipped my shoes on and headed downstairs for a closer check.

It was.

Two adjacent trees at the border of my garden, fully 11 meters tall or more, had been knocked over and were lying in the roadway, completely blocking it. Moreover I later discovered that another tree of similar size, further up the line had started to move, and was now leaning perilously against the tree next to it.



The road is a private one connecting the five houses on this hillside. Still, it was not long before the first car came down from the house above to find out that this was the end of the journey.

So now, I had an unexpected major project on my hands. The morning was spent phoning around to see who could do the job of moving the trees and cutting down the leaning one before it collapsed of its own accord. I had no idea how much this would cost and had to therefore be careful who I chose.

It soon transpired that mine were not the only trees in the area to be affected. My neighbor lost three trees. In a nearby cemetery, only 20% of the trees in a row remained. Two fallen trees were blocking the road to the local town. And the local elementary school had lost 30 square meters of tiles from the roof.

Happily, I was able to find a company to clear the trees. They were dragged away by a large tractor with a heavy steel cord to the junction of the road at around 9:15AM. However, then came the bigger job and the tougher decisions…

Several other trees surrounding their fallen comrades showed signs that the earth around their roots had moved. This meant that they too, given their great height, were also at risk of gradually collapsing. If it snowed or rained, that would only accelerate the process.

Hence, two days later and at considerable cost, the same team arrived to cut all of my trees in the front half of the row, i.e. those most affected, to a mere half their former size.

It was a sad day for me because I liked the trees just as they were. I have more of a panoramic view now but it is not a great consolation for the fact that my trees look headless. Plus, there is a huge gap in their ranks where the pair fell. From the road, it looks like a terrorist explosion.

Ironically and very synchronistically, I had been outside the house mere minutes before the trees collapsed, and had suffered a very nasty fall myself. In fact, I slipped and fell sideways onto my right thigh and rib-cage without the support of my arm. In other words, I collapsed just like a tree. It really hurt and knocked the wind out of me. My arm still aches four days later.

I was later taken by this strange synchronicity; namely, that I would symbolically be toppled and fall in the exact same manner as would my two trees just minutes later. In reality, it is not coincidence at all.

Anyway, I think all this serves to teach a spiritual lesson, as indeed all events in our lives do if we would but look for the teaching…

Nothing lasts. Nothing is permanent. Everything is subject to the flux of change. That is what the Buddha taught us.

We cannot hold onto anything, or expect anything to endure. We must expect all things to eventually change, even if the probability of that seems extremely low.

The other thing that I liked was how my house was hidden from view from the road. Nobody could see it, so it was nice and private. Not any longer. Now you can see the house peeping out from over a kilometer away.

Again, we cannot hold onto our preferences. What happens happens and we must take it with calm acceptance. We must take the new circumstance just as they are.

We should also realize that crises are not an unusual visitation, but a normal part of life. Rather than ask, “Why did this happen to me?”, we do better to simply accept that it has happened, that crises happen to everyone and just get on with learning to deal with it and move on.

In any life, we can expect a smooth period where all goes well, followed by an unexpected crisis. You get over the crisis, and recover that smooth road… and then you get hit by another crisis. Sometimes, you get more than one at the same time.

This is normal. It is nothing to write home about. It’s that thing we call “being alive”.

There is yet another lesson here, and it gives you a much broader perspective. While I’ve been fretting about my trees and whether or not I like the new view, as I write this it is believed that 50,000 may have perished in the earthquake in Haiti in the last 24 hours. So you see, if you think you have problems, you really don’t when you get things in perspective. Your worst nightmare would be someone else’s dream life. Think about that the next time you want to complain about something!

Having a spiritual perspective helps in life. And it also enables you to start seeing the connections, such as the strange “coincidence” of my falling down like a tree mere minutes before my trees collapsed.

I teach many spiritual secrets of life in my course, The 7 Golden Secrets To Knowing Your Higher Self. Most importantly in this instance, I discuss the symbolic aspect of everything that happens in life. For the truth is, if you have eyes to see it, all that happens to you happens for a reason. The question to ask is always, “What is the lesson here?”

Asoka Selvarajah

About Asoka Selvarajah

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14 comments

  1. It is good to hear from you again. I wondered what had happened to your posts.

    The story of the trees is very real and easy to understand. The price for a greater panoramic view was based on the sacrifice the trees had to be subjected to. I’m sure you loved your trees very much and, if they still have the roots intact, they will grow again.

    Our pain for Haiti here in the Caribbean and the rest of the world is very great. They are a very decen people who have undergone many trials and tests. I’m sure they will make it through this one difficult test. Our prayers are with them.

  2. Thank you! I always feel more peaceful after reading your articles. I’ve been subscribing to your newsletter for a few years now and just wanted to say thank you.

    I really liked the post on the lesson of falling trees. It also made me think about “not seeing the forest for the trees”, which is something I do a lot when I get too caught up in details.

    At any rate, thank you, blessings and happy 2010 to you.

  3. Nothing lasts, nothing is permanent, on the other hand things also do seem renew all the time…,

    For example recently somebody a couple of years older than myself died. I did see (and still see) his parents much more frequent than himself. In fact as far as I can recall I do think that for more than 10 years I didn’t see him. I only recently saw him two times and hardly recognised him, because I still had the image of him in my mind as a youngh man.

    (or at that time – for me it was – ‘that older boy’ from my older sisters age.)

    At the funeral it was weird to look at his son, because HE looked exactly as ‘that older boy’ from my older sisters age from back than. As if there never has been such a thing as time. For a moment it looked as if he didn’t really died.

    So there also seems to be something like ‘renewal’
    Infact I have read that most of the cells in our body renew several times a year, and that my body in 2010 is practically totally renewed compared to the body I had beginning 2009!

    BTW talking about renewal, recently I create two new Blogspots, one about Healthylifestyle and one about DigitalCamera-ideas.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy Inspiration,
    HP

  4. Ooops, accidently put in the wrong url…,

    The right one is:

    http://hpshealthylifestyle.blogspot.com

    And there you can find amung other things an interesting video about a Visionary Look on Aging.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy Inspiration,
    HP

  5. Thank you for the lesson of the falling trees! I have been pondering on the same thoughts today, – about the lessons that crisis in my life has taught me. For one, it made me a better person, more sensitive, more accepting, and most of all it taught me a virtue, and that’s patience. (= It’s not easy to accept changes in life, but changes happen for a reason. It’s either you will not grow if you remain in the same situation(comfort zone)or you move on and accept the challenge of change for a fresh new start at life which would bring more fulfillment than if you remain unaccepting. Life may become different than the way it used to but spiritually we will be embracing the unknown which what spiritual growth is all about.

  6. Hello Asoka,

    Sorry to hear about you and your trees. Happily, in time, your bodily injuries from the fall you took will heal, but sadly the full-bodied presence of your surrounding trees will not. In that regard, I am sincerely sorry for your loss.

    However, there is something positive that comes from the experience and that is, this blog message. It has been for me quite a while since I have received something new by you in the mail, and receiving this today was truly a pleasant surprise. As I read it I found the following paragraph most intriguing and meaningful.

    You wrote:

    “The other thing that I liked was how my house was hidden from view from the road. Nobody could see it, so it was nice and private. Not any longer. Now you can see the house peeping out from over a kilometer away.”

    Yes, indeed, Asoka. It’s been quite some time but now suddenly I see you! In a metaphorical sense, you are no longer hidden away from view as you have been. Perhaps then the trees are not altogether gone from your life. Perhaps they now remain with you in spirit, urging and inspiring you to open up and let others see what what you see through the magic and power of your words.

    Best wishes to you,
    Demitra

  7. Really resonated with your Blog writing, the second listed. It Highlightws the behind the scenes ‘Mystery School concept of living and its infinite expressions.
    On your ‘Mystic Visions’ Website of the past you presented an article on this concept titled ‘The Mystery School Approach’. This I divulged in its entirety and was a major lesson in my awakening process, It is now the questionable core to query any undesirable occurrences in my life to seek its inner meaning!
    Your presentation on the Blog with your ‘tree’ ordeal and its triviality compared with the constant major changes occurring within the world makes one realize the perpetual flux our planet is in with varying energetic forces erasing the known and ushering in the new.
    This concept ‘out with the old and in with the new’ is how the subtler vibratory order will manifest as through the evolutionary process the courser material expressions will lose their potency allowing the ethereal and more Spirtual to manifest.
    Major changes are imminent in the next few years as major Geological events occur on this planet and its neighbours, brought about through the Galactic events they are culminating as we come to the end of another 26,000 year cycle (Mayan long Count)
    This is Astronomically termed the ‘Precession of the Equinox’ and will mean a massive Ascentional shift in our local solar neighbourhood. The whole of the vibratory order of this third dimension will shift tempo as new cosmic frequencies radiate throughout our solar system from our Cosmic equator as we reach the centre of the Universe.
    Spiritual awakening which is occurring for many now will increase and be followed by energerisation and activation of all.
    Its time to unite both the Physical with the Spiritual and become whole once again !!!

    Love and peace and Happiness ..

    SteveG ..

  8. Just want to let you know that I loved your “Spiritual Lessons Of Falling Trees” and happy to have you back online. Your articles are truly enriching! Thank you!

  9. Thank you and welcome back – I missed you.

    God Bless,

    Fiona

  10. Hi Asoka,

    Good to hear from you again. Over the years, I’ve taken many of your lessons to heart.

    True, just as our surrounding reflect us, we reflect our surroundings.

    Thanks for an excellent example showing just how connected we are to Every living thing (and every thing is living!).

  11. Great to have you back online…I missed your newsletters. You are so right – the only constant is change…things change constantly and the more we accept that, the happier we are. The real challenge is in finding the positives and the opportunities within the changes or the crises we face. I remember once reading that if we wanted to change something in our lives, we should first change our perspective. It is hard to see positives on the Haitian situation at the moment with the death toll rising daily, but this gives the world the opportunity to explore our common humanity and rise to help our brothers and sisters if we choose. One day we may look back and see this as the turning point that changed Haiti and who knows…maybe the world…when we realized that we are all connected and that the air you breathe out becomes the air I breathe in…filtered through the green that surrounds us…

  12. Great to have you back online…I missed your newsletters. You are so right – the only constant is change…things change constantly and the more we accept that, the happier we are. The real challenge is in finding the positives and the opportunities within the changes or the crises we face. I remember once reading that if we wanted to change something in our lives, we should first change our perspective. It is hard to see positives on the Haitian situation at the moment with the death toll rising daily, but this gives the world the opportunity to explore our common humanity and rise to help our brothers and sisters if we choose. One day we may look back and see this as the turning point that changed Haiti and who knows…maybe the world…when we realized that we are all connected and that the air you breathe out becomes the air I breathe in…filtered through the green that surrounds us…

  13. Hello Asoka

    Thank you for sharing your spiritual lessons that you received from the falling trees with us. These lessons, including the earthquake in Haiti, teach us, as you said, about the impermanency in life. I’m sorry that you fell down. I trust that by now you are feeling very well.

    Regards

    Semper

  14. Dear Asoka,

    It is very dificult to call somebody by its own name . It is also my problem to address you with my name because in Indian context My name is to write as ashok and your as Asoka But name are same.
    Your article regarding elvis is very touching. It gave me sense that there is no limit of greed but the ultimate result is like Elvis or Michel Jackson who fedup with their prestige. than why we dream to become rich and famous? your article also give me teach that one should try to live happy with its own personality by judging its own inner self
    Regards

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