Find out more about the hidden life of trees and their role as guardians of the Figueira Light-Community
Created to raise awareness about the preservation of biodiversity, Nature Day, celebrated today, October 4, is an important invitation to reflect on the correct use of natural resources. Follow the Community-Luz in this matter with the meaning of the trees, its sensitivity and its comprehensive function in nature.
Besides being essential for the biodiversity of the planet through their innumerable biologic functions, trees are a universal symbol of connection between Heaven and Earth. As intermediaries between the divine world and the material world, they are present in the main spiritual traditions of humanity.
According to the spiritual philosopher José Trigueirinho Netto (1931 – 2018), the grand and peaceful presence of trees acts in a subtle manner, elevating the vibration of the environment and fostering inner harmony in those that are within the field of influence of these plants. Furthermore, just like ancestral cultures believed, Trigueirinho used to say that each tree emanates a singular tribute, characteristic of its species.
Each tree is unique
Trigueirinho left us with various recorded talks on the importance of trees. As founder of the FigueiraLight-Community, in Carmo da Cachoeira, Minas Gerais, Brazil, an entity affiliated with the Fraternity –International Humanitarian Foundation (FIHF), he sought to inspire people to establish a fraternal relationship with the Plant Kingdom.
The founder of Figueira used to say that certain old trees can even develop a personality, a process that is accentuated when they are treated with awareness by human beings. That statement is confirmed in the studies of the German forestry engineer, Peter Wohlleben, author of the popular book, “The Secret Life of Trees,” of the Sextante Publisher.
Based on scientific research and his own observations, Wohlleben affirms that trees communicate with each other, have memory, form families and take care of the weaker ones. He also guarantees that they have personalities, which in each one can bring about a different decision – more cautious or more daring – in their cycle of life. “A walk through the forest is enough to ascertain that each tree has a unique behavior,” he wrote.
Trigueirinho encouraged people to take care of the trees without utilitarianism and send them good thoughts. “When one goes past a tree and it feels something positive in you, it is more vitalized, more alive. If we begin to care for trees regularly, their response is very obvious,” he observed.
Without a doubt we still have much to learn about the nature of trees and their capacity to communicate. The experience of the North American environmentalist, Julia “Butterfly” Hill, is proof of that. She lived for two years in a 55 meter-tall (180 feet) and 1,500 years old Sequoia tree in California, United States, to stop it from being cut down.
Julia gave the name of Luna to the Sequoia, for which she had a deep love and respect. In her book “The Legacy of Luna,” Harper Collins Publisher, the environmentalist remembered an occasion when she struggled to survive an extremely violent storm, alone high up in Luna. At that moment, she heard the voice of the tree teaching her what to do to face the situation.
“Who knows, perhaps one day we may be capable of deciphering the language of the trees and they will tell us incredible stories,” sighed Peter Wohlleben.
The guardian trees of Figueira
In the FigueiraLight-Community, amongst the young trees that bring beauty to the landscape, there are older sisters, noble and portentous, bearers of the wisdom of the generations. They are the guardian trees of the spiritual center.
“Those old trees are doing a certain work. There is a certain presence in the Plant Kingdom that occurs gradually, through the evolution and maturing of the trees,” explained Trigueirinho.
The story of the Yellow Ipê
In Figueira, one of the most emblematic figures in the work with the trees was Friar Ameino (1950 – 2020), medical doctor, researcher and monk of the Grace Mercy Order. He dedicated more than 30 years of his life to the care and understanding of these plants.
In one of his talks, Friar Ameino told the story of the Yellow Ipê tree, more than 150 years old, that in 1987 received the committee that came to get to know the lands where Figueira would be established.
“After entering that area, on the top of a hill, a great Yellow Ipê (…) radiated its resplendent golden aura, beckoning to us and as if calling us to its side,” he remembered. According to the monk, the guide in charge of accompanying the group to explore the region, said that he seemed to hear the voice of the Yellow Ipê tree telling them: “it’s here, it’s here.”
“We grew with it, under its protection, in its radiation, in its presence. (…) The consciousness present in that tree was aware of many stories of that region and many stories about us,” revealed Friar Ameino.
Some years later, the elderly Yellow Ipê tree was knocked down during a storm. Happily, the tree rebounded and, who knows, it may be preparing to resume its mission as guardian.
The protector trees of each area
While the Yellow Ipê carried out the task of welcoming the pioneer group, a fig tree (figueira) located in one of the areas became the symbol-tree and the inspiration for the name of the FigueiraLight-Community. “The fig tree is the symbol of a creative life and of service,” Trigueirinho taught.
That characteristic of the species is present in the name of the farm, Vida Criativa (Creative Life), one of the first to be built. On that farm, a pink Cassia (cassia grandis), innumerable Eucalyptus, a Fire Tree (guapuruvu), a Balata (maçaranduba) and 11 Imperial Palm Trees also carry out the roles of guardians. Next door, in the Área Luz (Area of Light), there is a forest of Eucalyptus, the “Forest of the Light.”
The Jequitibá Road, which begins near Vida Criativa and runs to the Monastery of Transubstantiation, has a White Jequitibá (carinianna estrellensis) as a guardian.
On the Hill of the Apparitions there is a flower bed with a Brazilian Pepper Tree consecrated to the Virgin Mary, around which people gather to pray. Beside it a bell tower was built, the bell of which is rung daily as a harbinger of peace in the world.
The Sacred Heart Nucleus has the Temple of the Trees, containing 77 trees of various species, and the Pillars of Creation, formed by four Junipers. Besides those, the outer area of the farm has the protection of a Pink Jequitibá. Friar Ameino revealed that this tree, with its aura of loftiness, serenity and assurance, is responsible for protecting all the vegetation in the surrounding area.
On the road to F3, at a crossroads, a Jacaranda Paulista (machaerium villosum) is growing. Before Figueira was set up, its trunk was used a long time as a fence post, and for that reason, it was perforated by nails and barbed wire. On finding the tree in that situation, Trigueirinho quickly freed it. According to him, that Jacaranda developed twisted branches because of all it suffered, but it also knew to be an example of austerity, tenacity and resolve.
In F3, a Rosewood collaborates in refining the vibration of the environment, in accordance with the task of the monastery of the Grace Mercy Order placed there.
Crossing the Fernão Dias Highway, one reaches Figueira 2 (F2), where an avenue of Eucalyptus envelops those who enter the farm in an atmosphere of spiritual upliftment, a union with what is High. “You enter F2 and feel yourself to be brought upright because of the shape of the Eucalyptus trees. They have served a lot so far with their presence, emanation and strength. Many things in F2 were transcended due to the presence of the Eucalyptus trees,” affirmed Trigueirinho. The area also has Acacias, Rose Cedars, purple Ipês, Flamboyants, Jacaranda Mimosas, Rosewoods, and other species that fill the role of guardians.
In the Terras do Sol (Lands of the Sun), there is a bamboo grove called the “cathedral”, not only because of its circular and dome-like architecture, but also because of the energy of harmony and transcendence it radiates. To be in its aura inspires one to recognize the sacred principle that dwells in all forms of life. The spiritual strength of the bamboo grove conveys the essence of the work that must be carried forward in the Terras do Sol, an area dedicated to organic crops and reforestation. Also, there is an Angico (Piptadenia rigida) and three Eucalyptus which are considered guardian trees.
Figueira’s Casa 1, located in the center of the city, has an ancient jatobá (Old Man’s Toe Locust), known and loved by all. The plant seems to feel the esteem directed toward it and responds by producing fruit in abundance, enough to supply all the areas of the Light-Community. In July, when the fruit ripens, group tasks are done to process its flour, rich in nutrients.
The sansão do campo (mimosa caesalpinlifolia) serves as a living fence in most of the areas of Figueira, due to its ability to build a protective barrier, both physical and subtle.
Also, there are Copaiba trees scattered all over Figueira, “along the roads, at the foot of the hills and slopes, in the underbrush and the woods,” Trigueirinho said.
In the Bairro da Estação, which provides access to the Área Luz (Area of Light) and Vida Criativa (Creative Life), there is another Copaíba that stands out in the landscape. This specific tree exerts an important role, purifying the psychic charge of the region. In the median strip of the road that goes through this town there is also a Sibipiruna (poincianella pluviosa). Both are considered guardian trees with an influence that reaches as far as the FigueiraLight-Community.
Besides the trees mentioned, there are innumerable other guardian trees in Figueira. Some are known by residents and visitors, while the rest carry out their work in anonymity, patiently waiting for the awakening of our perception so that someday they are able to work in cooperation with us.
Knowing that the capability and the sensitivity of trees is much broader than we could imagine, we are invited to change our attitude toward these magnificent beings. We can begin by substituting lack of attention and indifference about their beneficial presence for a feeling of recognition and gratitude. They will certainly appreciate this and respond.
In the next subject on Figueira, you will get to know about the work of the Trees Group, in charge of caring for the trees of the Light-Community.