While trees are known as healing to the scientific community for the way in which they provide us with the oxygen necessary to survive, absorbing carbon dioxide from the air we breathe, Taoist masters believe that the powers of these incredible plants reach far beyond just the air that we breathe. Deeply rooted into the Earth while reaching high up to the Universe, trees have a unique way of harnessing the energies and powers that the Universe provides.
These energies carry great healing powers, enhanced by the fact that trees exist in a constant state of meditation. Discovered and cultivated by Taoist masters, the ability to form a deep, spiritual connection with the trees around us in order to tap into their energies has long been practiced.
In a number of aboriginal cultures, it was believed that trees possess a spirit who had agreed to take the role of being the connection between the Earth and the Universe. It was their job to ensure that there was a balance between the two, maintaining the separation that was created at the beginning of time. Their healing capabilities were discovered as various groups of people began to use their bark and leaves for medicinal purposes, witnessing the healing properties that the trees possessed.
Other cultures, such as that of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, and people across the Middle East, believed that trees were placed on Earth for the purpose of guiding humankind. They stressed the importance of showing trees the highest of respect. Stephen Scharper, Professor of Religious Ethics and the Environment at the University of Toronto explains, “The Koran and the Hebrew Bible both deal with warfare and talk about the impropriety, in fact, the great sin, of destroying trees in warfare. And part of it is they know the importance of trees for the whole civilization to exist.”
Through understanding and respecting the incredible spiritual power of these towering pillars we can tap into the healing powers that they possess.
Step One: Selecting the Tree to Work With
The tree that you work with is a very personal decision. While some will state that the pine tree is the most powerful, once referred to as the ‘Immortal Tree’ in ancient Chinese folklore, others point to the individual benefits of each type of tree suggesting that you select the tree that best suits your needs.
To begin with, you must take the time to see what trees you have access to in your area. Smaller trees are not yet mature enough to contain enough of the healing energy to make a genuine difference, whereas those who are too tall are believed to be more difficult to connect with. Take note of the types of trees that are in the area. Some examples of the powers associated with specific trees are:
Banyan Trees or Bengali Figs: eliminate excess moisture from the body, improves heart health
Birches: detoxifies the body and helps to eliminate fevers
Carobs: promote optimal heart health
Cinnamons: assists in fight the effects of cold in the heart and digestive system
Cypresses and Cedars: lower body temperature, fight fevers, feed your Yin energy
Elms: strengthen the stomach and digestive tract, calm the mind
Figs: eliminates diarrhea, improves spleen health, lowers body temperature
Fir Trees: reduce sweating, speed up the healing of bone injuries, reduce the appearance of bruises
Hawthorns: aids in digestion, strengthens the intestine, assists in the managing blood pressure levels
Maples: reduce pain and fight inflammation
Prunes: optimize the function of the spleen, stomach and pancreas, calms the mind
Willows: lower blood pressure, improve the health of your bladder and urinary tract
Step Two: Establish a Connection with the Tree
Once you have selected a tree to work with, you will need to make an effort to establish a connection with the tree. This connection is necessary in order to have access to the tree’s healing energies. While there is no definitive right or wrong way of approaching, interacting with or taking leave from a tree, there are some suggested techniques that have been found to be highly effective.
Remember that every tree has its own personality, life, and soul. In order to connect with it, you must first acknowledge it directly and take the time to understand and connect with it individually. Some trees are more generous, quickly connecting with the humans that approach them, while others take more work, effort, and perseverance.
Visit the tree regularly, creating an ongoing relationship. Consider the effort that is put into creating a relationship with a fellow human being. If you were to simply walk up to someone and declare that they are your life partner they would likely either laugh in your face or take off running. Show the trees the same level of respect, taking the time to get to know your selected tree individually, and sharing your own personality with it so that it, too, can get to know you.
There are 4 key points to remember when getting to know the tree during these visits:
Connect using touch, whether it is hugging the tree, or simply sitting against the tree while you meditate
Openness is important, keep an open mind and be honest and transparent in your efforts
Always ensure that you approach the tree with extreme sincerity
Share feelings of love and compassion with the tree, helping to build upon your connection.
Step Three: Begin the Healing Process
Over time you will begin to feel the connection being established between yourself and the tree. This isn’t going to happen overnight, remain patient. The tree will communicate to you when the time is right and it makes an effort to share its healing abilities in an effort to promote your optimal health.
Sit at the base of the tree and close your eyes. Focusing on your breathing, hand over control of the connection to the tree – experiencing the connection rather than trying to make it happen. The tree will guide you through the healing process, either by sharing a message with you about the necessary steps that you need to take to turn your life around in that area or by sharing its energy bringing healing for a specific issue. Keep an open mind and an open heart, and you will discover the tree’s immense powers.