My wife is planning a remodel of our house. This will involve scraping the lot to the ground to build a new house. As a result we will be removing some trees.
I am concerned about the trees and living beings that reside on our property. Is there some dharma that can help them as we remodel the house? You had mentioned in the past that one could write a note and put in a tree to inform the living beings that the tree was going to be trimmed.
I was planning on writing a note saying the tree was being removed. I feel bad about removing the tree. Is there anything I can do for it? I also plan on writing a note for the living beings in the house before we tear it down. Is there anything else I can/should be doing?
BB, Manhattan Beach, California
The tree spirits and beings who reside in your community also tend to be well-off (and therefore not good to offend). When leaving notes for them, watch for any unusual happening. This may indicate their intense displeasure which requires concrete remedial action. After all, we’re all sharing the world with other beings which may have been residing at your place than longer your family has. As such, they may be quite attached to their dwelling and therefore very reluctant to move.
You could also offer some incense to the tree spirits to soften the blow. Get some nice chandana incense from our temple to show more sincerity.
On the other hand, when their blessings run out, they have no choice but move (and therefore cannot impose their displeasure on you). Your kind consideration does make it less painful, but you’re the homeowner who must take your family’s needs into consideration.
Be considerate but there is no need to be fearful: in the hierarchy of things (gongfu-wise), you’re no small potatoes yourself.