A tree stands tall to offer shade, shelter and fruits to all and is able to tolerate all kinds of disturbances, Even when a tree is cut down, it grows back with determination and strength ready to serve the world again. Similarly, as spiritual practitioners, we all need to go deep in our eternal relationship with Krishna (our roots), grow strong by making positive lifestyle choices (our trunk) and give back by serving Krishna and His devotees (our crown).
We want each devotee in the IPS mentorship system to regularly evaluate their own spiritual development in relation to these three areas and reflect on what and how they can do to improve. This kind of honest introspection is essential for a healthy spiritual life.
The tree of life model contains 9 principles for spiritual empowerment – mentees are encouraged to set bite-size and achievable goals in relation to each.
Roots/ Go Deep
1. Call Out To Krishna:
• Are you meeting your target of rounds chanted daily and how often do
• Do you feel your target is suited to your level of Krishna Consciousness?
• What time of day and in what space do you chant?
• Do you use any techniques to aid the quality of your rounds?
• What is your approach to prayer?
2. Get To Know Krishna:
• What are you currently reading?
• Please can you share something that has inspired you?
• How do you try to assimilate what you have read?
• Is there anything practical that has come from what you’ve read that has changed your approach to life?
• How often do you hear lectures or podcasts and from whom?
• How often do you hear a lecture or seminar in person?
• Have you taken or considered taking any courses?
3. Develop loving relationships
• Who are your friends in Krishna Consciousness?
• Do you get to spend time with your juniors, peers and senior and in what
• What steps could you take to improve your relationships (perhaps discuss the 6 loving exchanges as outlined by Rupa Goswami)?
Trunk/ grow strong
1. Balance your priorities:
• Describe what your ideal life would look like and what steps you think you would need to take to achieve that vision.
• What areas of your life do you feel you need to focus on the most right
• Do you think your tree of life (roots, trunk and crown) is in balance?
• List your current responsibilities and explain how you manage your time
• What practical challenges do you encounter in this area and how do you
2. Lead a healthy lifestyle:
• What do you do to stay healthy i.e. in terms of exercise and diet?
• Do you get enough sleep?
• What do you do to deal with or express your emotions?
3. Live with integrity and values
• Do you feel that you’re becoming a better person and in what way?
• What qualities do you feel you have imbibed?
• What qualities would you like to develop?
• Are there any devotional principles which you find difficult to uphold?
Crown / give back:
1. Reach Out:
• How do you try to care for others?
• In which way do you feel you may inspire others?
• How would you like to further develop in this area?
2. Engage your talents:
• Do you feel that your current services are suited to your skill set?
• In what way could you contribute further with the skills that you have?
• How could this be facilitated i.e. what are steps that need to be taken?
3. Contribute to Society:
• Do you ever think about how the Krishna Consciousness movement may
• In what way do you feel you currently contribute to this?
• How would you like to expand your role in this?