in Journal

Heart Growth

Trees do not grow by greedily snatching the rain from the sky. Instead they cradle each drop, patiently ushering them one by one to the earth below. Only after filtering through the soil and collecting nutrients does the water get absorbed by the roots, carried back up through the trunk, and finally pushed out to the very same leaves and buds it passed on the way down.

Without firmly planted roots and strong trunk, the life-giving potential of the water would be dispersed, misguided, and lost in a splash of confusion. Our individual growth is no different. The wisdom of our teachers -- the inspirational leaders, fearless explorers, and great writers who inspire and motivate -- will only help us grow if we choose to digest their wisdom through our core, channeling and guiding their wisdom through our essence.

When we grow and reach for the stars, we need to grow and reach from that place deep inside, that place where the very essence of our existence illuminates the path ahead. Real growth does not originate from grabbing wisdom and slapping on inspiration but rather through digesting, filtering, and absorbing the nutrients of wisdom through our heart.

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18 Comments

  1. Love this one Raam! Your words are always a welcomed email to open each day you send them out… Thanks for that brother!

    Patrick

  2. Raam,
    Great food for thought here. So true too. We can’t read a few book and then because we’ve intellectually absorbed something declare ourselves to be experts. Wisdom comes from absorbing this new information then actually acting upon it in our own lives. Once we see the merits of manifested in our own lives we have will have truly grown.

    • Thank you, Angela.

      We should not only act upon it in our own lives, but we should also take the time to contemplate and ruminate wisdom and ideas when they come to us. I’ve been discovering that contemplation in general is rare (likely a side effect of the fast-paced world we’re living in).

      There is so much power in our ability to contemplate and sit on things, to think them over until our intuition makes it clear what makes sense and what doesn’t.

      • Making sense of things, rather than “proving” this or that, is so crucial for our understanding of life. I’ve always preferred to actively contemplate on life’s questions, working things out for myself, getting my own answers, rather than to meditate passively. Of course both states have their place, but give me contemplation everytime! :]

  3. This is so important, Raam! Whatever wisdom we are fortunate to receive needs to be taken to heart, digested, and practiced. I love the way that you expressed this here > “digesting, filtering, and absorbing the nutrients of wisdom through our heart.” One of my wise friends used to speak about the “lost zone of contemplation.” Without digesting, filtering, and absorbing process you speak of here, wisdom will remain superficial and be of little use to us or others. Thank you for highlighting this.

    • Digesting, filtering, and absorbing wisdom is so important because it’s part of being ourselves. If we’re taking wisdom at face-value, accepting it “just because it’s wisdom”, then what happens to us?

      The rise of mass-printing — and now communication mediums like the Internet — have made words superficial. When wisdom was transmitting by voice, from one person to another, we had no choice but to go over things in our head, to contemplate and meditate on what we had learned.

      That process is so important because just as food must be digested before its nutrients can be utilized, wisdom must be digested before it can truly become part of our lives.

  4. Raam, this is beautiful! I love the tree analogy. I’ve read other poetry relating to trees and it always speaks to me best. I remember one poem describing how the tree doesn’t discriminate, but provides shade and fruit to each who passes by. As humans, we should do the same, extending our generosity and love to all those we meet along the way.

    Let me know if you’re ever in the DC area. It’d be great to sit in the shade of a tree with you.

    Maria

    • Maria, trees are amazing, aren’t they? I think they’re absolutely incredible; they have so much wisdom to teach us. 🙂

      I would love to sit in the shade of a tree with you some time; I will definitely let you know when I’m in the DC area.

  5. Trees are amazing aren’t they? I love to see a tree strong and bulky with numerous branches spreading more branches as if growing to touch the sky. Perhaps its that they are so in-tune with all the elements or that they have been here all along like guardians :).

    You are right real growth does come from digesting, filtering, and absorbing the nutrients of wisdom through our heart. Sometimes even through education, instruction and knowledge we maybe start to see a new perspective on things but it is only truly through our own experiences do we learn what growth we are capable of.

    Our heart is a wonderful gift. It holds love but it also holds pain and only through these two do we truly bring out our heart wholly. Just as a coin has two sides so does our heart, both needed to make it count.

    Namaste 🙂

  6. Hi Raam,

    Truer words have not been spoken. True growth cannot be rushed. This is especially so when it comes to wisdom and experience in life. We are all at different stages of understanding and unless we have a firm foundation, we are liable to come to the wrong conclusions that could spell trouble in the future. It is for this reason that we need to go through various stages in education from what is easy to what is difficult. It is not any different with the education in the lessons of life. We have to start with what is easy before we gain the capacity to handle greater trials. Only through patient reflection, experience and careful watchfulness can we ensure that we grow in the right way without error.

    Thank you for sharing these provoking thoughts! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

  7. i agree with all those who loved your use of the tree analogy.
    when i was a little girl, there was a huge cottonwood tree that had apparently been struck by lightning, but not killed. it had a hollowed place in it that easily sheltered a small child.
    i used to simply sit in my tree. it held me.
    i would go there if i was upset, hurt or just wanted to be alone.
    i have been a “tree hugger” my entire life. i mean literally. i hug trees! and it makes me sad to think that’s become a derogatory term to many people.
    “the giving tree” is a wonderful little book. very wise. very profound.
    i never thought of myself as wise. but when death becomes more a part of your life than life… loss after loss happens… parents, husband, grandparents… there is no course but to keep growing like my beloved tree, or to break. i chose not to break.
    …still working on the wise however!!! it’s a long, wonderous journey.

    • Tammy, like you I’ve been a “tree hugger” my whole life: I’ve been climbing into trees, much to my mothers’ distress, since I could walk! Being next to large trees feels like being in the presence of a wise and respected elder.

      We’re all wise in our own way and we all have something to teach. Just as an elder can teach a child, a child often has much to teach an elder. 🙂

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