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Lessons from the Banyan Tree

By Deg Ajeet Kaur

Secure roots go deep
A strength and resilience passed on from ancestors
Roots connected to tough skin and long branches – extending, reaching
Stretching up for dreams
Spreading out—holding knowledge, creativity
Turning back to the earth, becoming roots
Securely grounded—solid, calm, quiet
Nourishment from the upper, lower and middle worlds—sun, air, water, soil
Its energy emanates—do you feel it?
I bow to you wise tree.
I am humble to your greatness.
Tell me your stories. Show me your visions. Let me breath in your wisdom.
I’ll receive it with eyes glistening.
I hold you sacred.
I feel your strength as I gently touch your bark.

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo
I bow to the lessons of the day, from the world around me
Extreme weather, political chaos, hate, an anxious child, lower energy at work, a mending heart, a friend having surgery, death of a loved one, relationships changing, a future unknown

Morning sadhana—my time—for my self
Almond oil, the shock of cold water
Warmth in my bark, wrapped in cotton fabric, leaves knotted on top of my crown
Summer mugginess in the air, alone on my porch
A navy blue sky with star patterns and a moon looking down
My straight trunk sends roots down, bringing in nourishment, releasing what is no longer needed—diffused into the earth.
My branches are up and out, releasing sadness, pain, hurt, fear and loneliness.
Breath of fire, ego eradicator, the vulnerable bow pose—that leads me to tears some of the time (used to be all the time)
Arching, pressing, twisting, bending
Then stillness—a letting go

And then I chant—which it turns out, is a beckoning for my cat Nico
Who has loved me through it all and finds his place in the curve of my lap.  I scratch that spot, on the neck, he leans in, with a purr.

I find my voice, joining voices from my phone—voices that lift me up from the community. They slowly teach me to project. They slowly teach me to feel lovely. And they slowly help me find my quiet power.

The sky lightens, the air feels lavender. The peepers fade to quiet and the birds start their own mantra—the natural world’s disciplined practice. Go within, emanate out. Breath up—Chant up.

Every morning resets my intention to flow with positivity. And to rise up and be the banyan tree. 

Kundalini Yoga transformed Deg Ajeet’s life (Janet Howard), helping her through big life changes with an increased sense of calm, emotional healing, self-acceptance and trust in the flow of life. She started to recognize a part of herself that was deep within. Quiet. Loving. Forgiven. Forgiving. Her daily sadhana is her gift to her self and the calm consistency in a chaotic, ever-changing world. Wherever she is, her kundalini sadhana is with her. Yes, she gets thrown off balance regularly, but each morning, she gets back to her center – strong, relaxed and at peace.

With an over 25 year career in health care environmental stewardship (www.practicegreenhealth.org), Deg Ajeet’s passion lies in healing the planet – feeling love, respect and appreciation for all living things and connecting with the energy in nature. On the side, Deg Ajeet established Rosehip26 for Air BNB and Reiki Integrative Touch offering. Deg Ajeet received her Level One Instructor Certification in May 2018 and teaches a weekly class at Ananda Yoga in western Massachusetts.