(This post contains affiliate links.) I have always loved trees – their wisdom, their magnificence and their strength. There is just something magical about them. In every season, trees are truly beautiful – the bright, new green leaves of spring, the many shades of green in summer, the fantastic autumnal colours and the bare branches of winter, which are especially beautiful with a dusting of snow. A walk in the woods or in the forest can clear my mind and leave me feeling refreshed and peaceful. Inspiration often finds me when I’m out in nature like this and troubles somehow seem smaller and further away.
And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. – John Muir
Perhaps these feelings can be explained by the abundance of negative ions in forests. In Sacred Space, Denise Linn explains:
Air, like all matter, is made up of molecules. Each individual molecule has a nucleus of positively-charged protons surrounded by negatively charged electrons… Over 700 scientific documents resulting from research done around the world have concluded that an oversupply of positive ions is harmful, while a surplus of negative ions is beneficial… Negative-ion environments occur in nature by the sea, in pine forests, by waterfalls and from lightning storms… A negative-ion environment will tend to make you feel relaxed, yet exhilarated… falling water and the tips of pine needles are excellent generators of negative ions…
Trees have given the human race so much over the millennia. They have allowed us to build our houses and furnish them, provided us with warmth and, with the skill of carpenters, they have allowed us to build boats and carts to travel and explore. They have also healed us, with many modern-day prescription drugs having originated from chemicals found in trees. Trees are an essential part of our planet’s ecosystem, converting carbon dioxide to oxygen and being home to countless animals and insects. They are a marvel of organic engineering.
However, the following (seemingly anonymous) quote pretty much sums up the sad state of today’s society:
In Blinded by Science, Matthew Silverstone reveals scientific research which proves that hugging trees does in fact have a beneficial effect on health, with both psychological and physiological benefits. Particular benefit is seen in those with mental illnesses, stress, depression and headaches. In fact you don’t even have to touch the tree, just being in its vicinity being enough to produce the health benefits. Research has also shown children to function better cognitively, creatively and emotionally in green environments, adding further credence to the recent popularity of Forest Schools.
Matthew Silverstone scientifically proves to us that these health benefits are not simply brought about by being in open green spaces but instead are a result of the vibrational properties of trees and plants. After all, we know that everything is just a vibration, ourselves included.
In Damanhur, researchers have been investigating the vibrational energies of trees and plants since 1976. There is a transmission of very low-voltage electric currents between the roots and leaves of a plant and the researchers developed a way of translating these variations in resistivity in the plant into music. They created a synthesizer that was able to capture the electromagnetic variations of the surface of plant leaves and roots, and turn them into sounds. This synthesizer is available to the general public and can be purchased online.
Most amazing though, is this:
The plants seem to enjoy the sound and learn to produce the sounds themselves, through the technical instrumentation… The trees learn to control their electrical emissions, so they can modulate the notes, as if they are aware of the music they are producing. – www.damanhur.org
The book The Music of the Plants contains tales from the most significant and moving episodes of exploration in this field and recordings of the plant music are also available.
The following excerpts from Seven Steps to Eternity relate to our ability to communicate with trees. In this book, James Legett – a young soldier who was killed in World War 1 – tells the story of his journey into the afterlife, via clairvoyant Stephen Turoff. Bill is James’ friend and Ben is the gardener.
The gardener asked us to wait, and he headed in the direction of one of the trees. We watched curiously when he placed his hands on it. I saw from where we were standing that he conversed with it for several minutes. When he made his way back to us, Bill asked what he had been doing.
“Talking to the tree,” he replied. “I see you have not yet been taught to commune with nature.”
Bill smiled and interjected, “Talking to trees, what do you mean, mate?”
There was an added strength in the gardener’s voice as he answered Bill with a lecture on God’s law of creation. “First,” he said, “my name is not mate, it’s Ben. And yes, I communicated with that tree. The spark of life within us is in trees as well, but of course, not at the same stage of evolution. You will learn that spirit can and does communicate with Spirit at all other levels. Remember this park is built on love, and its plant life is extremely beautiful because of this. All God’s creations respond positively to love. The tree back there felt my love. Of course, I cannot have a conversation with it as I can with you. Yet its twilight consciousness understands my thought and responds by perfecting itself to please others. When you thought, “What magnificent specimens”, they grew to that thought.”
I approached one of the trees and sat down with my back against its large trunk… Suddenly a cold shiver passed through me, and I felt someone touch me. I jumped to my feet and looked around to see if anyone was having a game with me, but I was alone. I wondered from where the touch had come. Again, I felt an encroachment on my aura. As this had first occurred when I sat against the tree, I nervously walked around it. “I wonder…,” I said out loud, as I thought of the gardener on the fourth plane who spoke to trees and who said he understood them.
Perhaps the tree was trying to communicate with me. I placed my hands on its trunk. The shivering intensified the more I concentrated. I assumed I was having an effect; nevertheless, I was extremely shocked when I felt a strong emotion from the tree. I quickly took my hands from the tree and stepped back. It was trying to communicate! I stood there for several minutes with a mixture of fear and apprehension. My curiosity finally got the better of me, and I placed my hands back on to the tree. Again a shiver passed through me. This time I did not pull away. Slowly my sensitivity merged with the tree. I became aware of its totality, from the very depths of its roots to the tips of its branches. Its past experiences passed before me as though I were watching a newsreel. What a wonderful way to understand history. When Ben talked of communicating with the tree, I had not fully recognized or appreciated the immensity of nature, nor that all things in God’s garden had such sensitivity. In my enlightened State I became aware of the other neighbouring trees and realized in some mysterious way that the tree I was communicating with could also communicate with its own species. What one tree sensed, all of them sensed. By my becoming a part of their sensitivity, I would impart a vibration of love.
This is what Ben meant when he said, “By giving them love, they respond to that love, and grow accordingly.” I spent the best part of the day thoroughly enjoying learning from the tree. On leaving I thanked the tree, although I thought this might appear odd. But I knew it would respond. I thought about the trees and plants on the earth plane.
Mother often spoke of Dad’s green fingers. I now knew she was right. Plants responded to his kindness and often won prizes for him at the local flower shows. Dad often talked to his plants. I had thought it was rather silly, but he swore they understood him. How right he was, but I had to die to understand it.
These sentiments are echoed by Brad Johnson in the following video:
In the following video, Taoist master Mantak Chia teaches his Cosmic Tree Healing Qigong method, in which our sick or negative energy is transformed by the tree into positive, vital life-force energy, facilitating physical and emotional healing. Don’t worry – this process is of mutual benefit to both the humans and the trees! Taoists view trees as being constantly in meditation, with subtle energy as their natural language.
We can learn a lot from trees. They teach us to stay grounded and connect with our roots, but to keep growing and reaching for the sky. They teach us to bend before we break. In autumn, trees let their dead leaves fall, teaching us to let go of that which no longer serves us.
Advice from a Tree
by Ilan Shamir
Stand tall and proud
Sink your roots deeply into the earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The energy and birth of spring
The growth and contentment of summer
The wisdom to let go of leaves in the fall
The rest and quiet renewal of winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!
Let us take a moment to consider yoga’s Tree Pose (Vrksasana) which allows us to connect with and embody these qualities of a tree.
[Vrksasana] teaches you how to be both strong and supple, to be rooted without being rigid. A tree must be able to sway in the wind—or risk having its branches or trunk snap. – Carol Krucoff