To acquire specific divine qualities, Sri Chinmoy often advocates meditating on aspects of the natural world.

Compassion is not charity. It does not give according to the wants or desires of the receiver, or for the glory and recognition of the giver. Compassion is the unconditional and unreserved self-offering of the giver according to the true inner needs of the receiver.

“To develop compassion, meditate on a tree. Although the flowers, leaves and branches are above the ground, they are not looking downward with contempt or a feeling of superiority. The trunk of the tree may be very tall; the flowers, fruits and leaves may be all above us. But when we pass below the tree, the leaves, flowers and fruits say, ‘Take us; we are ready to be utilised by you.’ Because of its oneness with us, everything that the tree has, it is begging us to take.”
– Sri Chinmoy

The key word in this last sentence is “oneness”. The tree is able to offer everything that it has, to offer its whole being completely, because it identifies with us and has established its oneness with us. Oneness is the essence of compassion. In its oneness, the tree is identified with our weaknesses, shortcomings and limitations, as well as our capacities and potential, so the tree intuitively knows and feels exactly what we need to be nourished and fulfilled, and offers to us accordingly.

Thus, we are fed, nourished and inspired not only by the tree’s flowers and fruits, its shade, beauty and strength but more significantly, by its self-giving, its nobility of being and radiant compassion. The tree has always been our silent teacher, an ever-present emissary of God in plain sight. Let us ever be worthy and grateful students of the tree.