Tree Meditation

Find the oldest or most grand tree you can find. If it is raining or cold and it is best to stay inside, you can still do the meditation using your imagination.

Sit comfortably in front of the tree, with your back as straight as possible. If you find it difficult to sit on the ground, bring a chair to sit on.

Close your eyes and bring your awareness into your body. Take three deep breaths and feel your body relax as you breath out.

Pause

If you still find your mind racing, do five minutes of conditioning to help your mind settle.

When you are ready, open your mind and focus intently on the tree. Focus first entirely on the bark. Notice the lines, squiggles, patches, colours, contours, ridges, and every feature of the bark.

If you have difficulty focusing, start by counting the ridges.

Pause

After a while you should begin to notice things about the bark you had not noticed before. Maybe a particular pattern, or maybe small creatures moving up and down the tree.

Pause

Slowly you begin to feel an affinity for the bark and for the tree. Begin to take in the wider beauty of the tree. Realise it has lived for many years and seen many things. Acknowledge the wisdom of the tree. It too has a spirit and energy. Become connected with that spirit and energy.

Pause

Ask the tree reverently to be allowed to meld with it and gain its wisdom and calm.

Close your eyes and imagine your body becoming lighter, begin to stand up with this imaginary body and flow over to the tree. Give the tree a big hug and feel its strength. Allow your imaginary self to move inside the tree and become at one with it.

Pause

Feel its essence in every molecule, vibrating at its own unique frequency with its own unique character – wise, old, calm, strong, patient, grounded, and aloft.

Pause

Reach up with your hands into the branches of the tree and feel the sun warming your fingers in the leaves of the tree.

Pause

Reach down with your feet into the roots of the tree and feel the minerals and water of the earth penetrate your toes and fill your body.

Pause

The tree has a connection to the earth and to the cosmos. As you stand at one with the tree you have a connection to the cosmos through your outstretched hands and to the earth through your feet. Feel these energies mix inside your body, enriching you, enlivening you and grounding you.

Long pause

Before you leave the tree, ask it for a token or symbol to take away with you. This symbol will help you to better understand and find a solution to your most pressing problem. The symbol is one you can draw later.

Pause

Imagine the tree giving you this symbol. Thank the tree and say, ‘Good-bye.’

Pause

Slowly come back into your body. Become aware of your environment. When you are ready take three deep breaths and open your eyes.

Pause

Look at the tree again and see it in a new light.

Pause

See the outside, knowing what lies within. Acknowledge how knowledge of what lies within changes perception of what lies on outside.

Pause

As a final thank you, hop up from where you are sitting and go over and hug the tree. When you get home draw the symbol and hang it in a place where you will look at it every day.

 

‘Tree Meditation’ is an excerpt from ‘Finding Joy Within’ (2007) by David Corby, CEO of the College of Complementary Medicine Sydney. This inspiring book is available for purchase from the College