Sacred Mountain Retreat

The Happiness Tree

by Virochana Khalsa May, 2015

In 1979 I started living in a small upstairs room in an ashram in Altadena. It had hardwood floors and a window opening to the front yard.

The view from the window looked upon a tree with pinkish colored leaves that was just the right height. Sometimes before starting my practices in my room (instead of the sadhana room), I would often warm up by placing my hands on my hips and kicking my legs out, kind of like a Turkish dance.

While doing so for 5 to 10 minutes or more, I would face the tree with pink leaves, and as I continued, I would get happier, and happier, and happier. I did not know what this tree is called, but I called it a happiness tree. It was my secret.

In those years I only slept 3 hours per night, and all of my free time was in practice (there was no Facebook then). But one bright Saturday morning I made an exception and walked around the neighborhood.

A few blocks away, lo and behold, there was another happiness tree. A man noticed me noticing the tree as I was walking by. He quickly jumped up, broke a small branch off of the tree with the beautiful pink leaves and handed it to me.

No words needed to be said.

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