Healing & Nurturing the Self

This is an article I came across in The Speaking Tree...talks about how getting back in touch with Nature has a impact....here it is

My mother would often tell me that offering prayers to God and doing good karma always pays rich dividends. But when I hit a rough patch, instead of having faith on my good karma, my mother rushed to consult an astrologer. The tech-savvy Panditji, with a laptop at his disposal, recounted my past and present with much accuracy, and the thoroughly impressed mother of mine showered oodles of praise on him. The astrologer’s parting instructions were: “Feed the birds seeds and grain in the morning.” The tricky phase of my life coincided with a change of residence; we moved to more sylvan surroundings outside the city. For the urban girl, to whom even the house sparrow was a visual treat, it was a new experience to come face to face with crows, sparrows, peacocks and a variety of other birds which I had never seen before.

I am not sure whether it was the change of astrological situations or simply good karma, but feeding the birds in my garden became a spiritual retreat for me. It became a wonderful way to give something back to Nature, besides enjoying the song of these birds all day long.

Collecting millet, sesame and mustard seeds, and soaking pulses for my sweet little friends for the next day became an eagerly awaited activity for me. To this feed, I started adding leftovers like steamed rice that the birds just loved. Occasionally, there were breadcrumbs, but the delight of the little angels in savouring puris was too apparent.

A red-beaked bird become a close friend of mine as it would wait for me, on most mornings, perched on top of a tree. Sometimes it would hop to my front door. It was always the first to grab the seeds. She was followed by a variety of other birds including the treepie, pied cuckoo and mynah.

Initially, these birds eyed me with suspicion. However, with sincerity, I earned their trust and they became my friends for life. On introspection, I realised that in this grand web of life, we are all interconnected. What we do to others, we also do to ourselves in one way or another. By feeding these birds, I fed myself. By providing nourishment to these creatures, I nourished and healed myself.

Nature contains and guards our karmic pool and these creatures are an integral part of nature. By serving them, I reconnected with nature and this reunited me with nature’s healing forces. Normally, one human serves another out of attachment, pity, guilt, recognition and thus service to other human beings is often marked by a subtle agenda. I, too, tried to serve Mother Nature and her nonhuman children with a selfish motive; it, however, transformed into pure compassion. Thank you, Panditji for showing me the way.