“I think I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree,” wrote an American poet. Trees in all cultures have long been regarded as emblems of innate wisdom and a life-force in an ever-changing world. Seers and sages have drawn inspiration seated under the spreading branches of great and ancient trees and they have shared their insights with others from under these very trees.
It was the Tree that inspired the Times of India to create a space for it in its opinion pages, The Speaking Tree column, a welcome refuge from the hurly-burly of the news pages that report tales of crime and corruption, politics and despair, mayhem and doom. In many ways, trees represent the fullness of being; they are life without self-consciousness, without fear, without desires. Neither do they have an opinion, nor do they seek those of others. They just are.
Readers so warmly welcomed the column that The Speaking Tree is now expanding its branches to a weekly publication of the same name. For it is not only in sequestered monasteries and abstract philosophy that one can hope to find salve; there is ample opportunity to find relief in whatever we do in our daily lives by discovering what it is that converts even the most mundane into a potential spiritual sanctuary.
We might not be able to avoid or escape the daily Kurukshetras of the mind, body and soul. But we can face these challenges ably and effectively by choosing to use a wide-angle lens and without material attachments alone determining our actions. This is where The Speaking Tree comes in, with its promise of soothing shade, inviting you to just chill, to let your hair down in an act of defiance, of looking at life from another prism.
Rather than bore you with long-winded articles, The Speaking Tree hopes to present to you a choice of delectable and snack-sized tidbits that will inform, entertain, humour and delight while also making accessible deep insights.
The Speaking Tree website, speakingtree.in, is the world’s first spiritual social networking site that has over 125 masters on board and more than 300,000 seekers who are registered users, all interacting in blogs, forums and other posts.
The Speaking Tree website and weekly print edition – as well as the daily column of that name in The Times of India -- hope to explore with you many themes and issues that could help to transcend the "surly bonds of earth". The world of the spirit, of universal consciousness, is not something that's out there, beyond our reach. It is in us. It's ours to discover, nurture and enjoy.