Trees and Spirituality

Nalini enjoys her work

Doctor Nalini Nadkarni spoke at an Interfaith event at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Salt Lake City on July 17th, 2012. Dr. Nadkarni’s presentation was concerning trees and spirituality. She was very well prepared and presented a slide show showing artwork, poetry and scriptures from various religious texts having to do with trees. Dr. Nadkarni , a forest ecologist, spends much of her time in the canopy in Costa Rica or should I say above Costa Rica. Her presentation was a plea to all of us to not only be more aware of how we as people affect nature but how trees specifically affect us. She challenged us to get active in larger groups and make our voices heard in order to protect trees and the environment. The sacred nature of trees is found throughout the Bible, Quran, The Book of Mormon, Buddhists sacred texts and many other religious writings and she referred to many of those references in her presentation. During the question and answer period an American Indian spoke of how trees are alive and have both female and male parts and how deeply rooted these traditions are in the Indian culture.

Bob Hermansen a Master Martial artist taught us some of the same principles of how trees are alive and how we not only get oxygen from the trees but energy as well. Bob taught us ways of extracting more energy from trees and many people just roll their eyes and say things like that are hogwash although science cannot measure the transfer of energy from a tree to a person many people are firm in their faith that such energy transfers do exist and that as we destroy more of the trees in the world and the number of these great trunks diminish we will lose part of mother earth causing additional problems throughout the world. Pollution and man caused problems on earth can be ignored although the effects cannot.

This presentation was put on by Utah Interfaith Power and Light. Doctor Nadkarni is a professor at the University of Utah. Going green by recycling, installing solar equipment, using less gas, using less water & striving to reduce each of our footprints can make a difference in the long term as we educate our youth and set good examples. After the presentation we went outside at the Cathedral and we were able to tour the grounds of the church and refer to a book that one of Nalini Nadkarni's students put together that mapped all the trees on the grounds explaining more about the trees both scientifically and some spiritual references as well. The event was filmed for a CNN broadcast that will air at a later date.

Utah Interfaith Power and Light sponsors other events as well that promote unity and a desire to improve our environment and communities.