Tree of meditation

On 12 June 1976 a ceremony was held in beautiful Rieterberg Park in Zurich, Switzerland, dedicating a tree of meditation which had been planted there in honour of Sri Chinmoy's visit to Zurich. Officiating at the dedication was Herr Schmid, First Adjunct of City Planning. Both Sri Chinmoy and Herr Schmid spoke briefly about the meaning of the tree. Following are their words.

Tree of meditation

Sri Chinmoy: I wish to thank you deeply for having given us the opportunity to have this tree planted here. I am offering you my soulful gratitude, and I also wish to offer a blessingful message to my students, my spiritual children.

This tree is a Himalayan Pine. The Himalayas are not only the tallest mountains, but also the most inspiring, the most generously blessed with divine grandeur. The Himalayas are not only the tallest in terms of earthly reality, but also the highest in terms of spiritual reality. Many, many, many seekers have prayed at the foot of the Himalayas or inside the Himalayan caves and have realised the highest absolute Truth. So the Himalayas embody the inner height of the highest magnitude and also the outer height of the highest magnitude.

In the Himalayas we see the outer achievement and the inner achievement together, serving one cause: realisation. As soon as one sees the Himalayas, one is reminded of his own inner divine qualities: peace, light and bliss in boundless measure, as well as his outer qualities: concern, patience, compassion and dedication.

Here in Zurich we have created our own Himalayas. Our Himalayas are our inner aspiration and our outer dedication. Today we have here about twenty-five seekers. Our aspiration and dedication we are offering to this Himalayan Pine. This tree is not only for the very few who are here today, or for those who belong or will belong to our Zurich Centre. It is for all who are aspiring in all our Centres, and for all the seekers who are aspiring all over the world, for this tree symbolises aspiration and dedication.

We have come here to be blessed by the aspiration of this tree and, at the same time, we are blessing the tree with our souls’ delight. It is a mutual blessing. Also, we have come here to spread the inner fragrance of this tree. Our aspiration will carry the inner fragrance, which is peace and light, from this tree, and wherever we go, we shall consciously or unconsciously spread this inner fragrance.

I wish to make a soulful request: that at least once a month my students from the Zurich Centre come here to pray and meditate most soulfully, as our San Francisco disciples do around their tree.

Every month you will remind yourself on the physical plane of the aspiration and dedication that you are now offering to the tree and at the same time receiving from the tree.

This tree is at once our child and our parent. When we sit at the foot of the tree and look at its height, we feel that we are the children and the tree is our parent. But when our inner aspiration merges consciously into the transcendental Heights of the Absolute, at that time this earthly reality — this tree that is in front of us — is our child. So this moment our parent feeds us and nourishes us with its beauty, fragrance and protection, and the next moment we bless the child with our aspiration-might and realisation-height.

A tree is sacrifice, right from its root to its topmost branch. Let our lives also be a true sacrifice in the physical world, in the vital world, in the mental world and in the spiritual world. As a tree is constant sacrifice from the top to the bottom — from the root to the highest part of its existence — even so, what we have inside us, outside us and around us we must sacrifice to bring forward our inner divinity. This tree has only one message: Sacrifice. By virtue of sacrifice we reach the Highest. Constantly this tree is aspiring to reach the Highest, and this highest Reality the tree achieves or receives on the strength of its constant sacrifice.

Herr Schmid: I would like to express a few words of appreciation. Honourable Sri Chinmoy, dear pupils of his, seemingly for two reasons we have come together here. One is the tree, the other is the presence of Sri Chinmoy. But, as you are fully aware, we are here this morning because of the significance of what the tree stands for.

A year ago, when we expected your visit, the selection was made, and the tree was planted then. So please don’t feel disappointed that the tree has actually been here for a full year. It is still with the original purpose in mind that you have dedicated this tree today.

A year ago, the City Fathers considered what kind of tree they would like to have in honour of meditation. And as you see, it is a somewhat exotic species. There are only very few of its kind in Switzerland. The other ones are all in Geneva, which happens to be the European centre of the United Nations. So we got a tree that had been in Geneva before, and it was planted here.

It took a full year for you to come and, of course, we are extremely happy that you are here. The City Council and the Mayor were extremely grateful for your thoughts. The city is also happy, indeed, that it was in a position to offer what we believe is an extremely beautiful spot for this “Tree of Meditation,” as we have started to call it ourselves. And in the name of the City Council, I would like to present you with a book on the City of Zurich, which says in the introductory caption that a tree of meditation has been planted in this Rieterberg Park, out of respect for the goals you pursue, and it is overlooking the heart of the City.

I think it is not by coincidence that the City also has a heart. And when you look through the gap over there, that is the heart of the city of Zurich.

Thank you again, very much, for the idea. We hope that the tree will prosper.

Sri Chinmoy: I am extremely grateful to you for your soulful and encouraging words. I wish to offer you, on behalf of all my students, on behalf of myself and in the name of my Inner Pilot Supreme, our most soulful gratitude. You have not only given us this opportunity, but also you have given us your heart’s assurance that our prayer, meditation and dedication will bear fruit. And for that, my soul, my heart and my life of aspiration are all gratitude to you.

Herr Schmid: Thank you.