I’m feeling inspired by trees tonight and wanted to share that with you.
I’m very inspired by the planting of trees. The 22 Wake Up trees we’ve planted in Vietnam at a monastery, the School of Youth for Social Service (founded by Thay and Sr. Chan Khong in the 1960s) and a Love and Understanding kindergarten showed me there’s so many meanings to it. Planting the tree at the monastery near Saigon after having spent a weekend retreat with our new friends of the local Sangha there was a great joy. Planting a tree that represents the newly planted seeds of brotherhood and sisterhood during that weekend and the hope of sweet fruits growing out of it in the future.
Planting a tree at the SYSS, which feels so strongly as the roots of our Wake Up family now was also a very beautiful moment representing the continuation we would like to be of these wonderful people with amazing aspiration, practice and compassion.
I was reading the autobiography of Wangari Maathai, winner of the Peace Nobel Price and early environmentalist, founder of the Green Belt Movement, an organization that plants trees in Kenya and other African countries to restore the land suffering from erosion and give back natural resources to people suffering from malnutrition. She sees planting trees as being the solution to many problems in Kenya, her home country. Planting trees, giving back natural resources to people living on and from the land, giving jobs to uneducated women, encouraging villages to take responsibility in their own hands, villagers working together, creating peace. Wangari Maathai writes beautifully about what trees mean to her:
“Trees are an essential part of my life and have taught me many wise lessons. Trees are the living symbol of peace and hope. A tree is rooted in the ground, but reaches high in the sky. It tells us that we should have a strong base if we want to achieve something. It reminds every successful person that we should not forget where we come from. It tells us how might we might become in a government, or how many awards we might win, our power and our strength and the capability to achieve our goals are dependent on the people, the persons who do their work in the background, because they form the soil from which we grow, the shoulders on which we stand.”
Planting trees with the intention of planting seeds of brotherhood, sisterhood, compassion, having strong roots and reaching out to the world I believe is a very strong action which will bear wonderful fruits. I hope we can continue with planting Wake Up trees everywhere, making the world greener and literally and figuratively planting our aspirations, dreams and ideals all over the world, for many years to come and have the Wake Up Tree Foundation grow stronger and stronger.
Lots of smiles for you all,