Article by Patti Deschaine
If you are seeking a way to expand your Reiki practice, increase self-healing and commune with nature, you may have to look no further than your back yard. I am talking about the age-old practice of connecting to trees. Trees are a natural wonder that supports us in so many ways. From clearing the air of carbon dioxide and providing vital oxygen for us to breathe, to absorbing negative energies and creating positive vibrations, trees have healing properties most of us have never tapped into. Trees are beautiful to look at, purify the air, provide shade and a home for birds and small animals. They whisper in wind and showcase the changing of the seasons.
Connecting with trees is a simple and effective way to strengthen your bond with nature. You already know how to use Reiki energy for healing and connection, so take that one step further. Once you have been initiated into the practice of energetic connection to tree medicine, you will always return to this gentle healing practice.
Tree medicine has long been accepted as a form of meditative healing. This simple act of connecting to a tree can have a tremendous impact on our health and well being. While you may wonder how on earth you would begin to establish a relationship with a tree, rest assured it is a simple process. Start by taking a walk in a place where you may have seen a tree that caught your attention or in an area that has many trees. Trees have consciousness and some may be more open to the connection than others. In truth, some may have just been waiting for you to make contact and will remember you on subsequent visits. Quiet your mind and stroll a bit, is there a tree that catches your attention? Which one are you drawn to? Is there one that seems to be calling to you? Set your intention to connect to its energy. Be still, open and receptive. Communicate your sincerity with love and kindness and ask the tree’s permission to enter its field of energy, either physically, by sitting next to it or touching it, or by engaging with it in your mind’s eye.
Be conscious of every aspect of the tree, from its roots deep in the earth, to the roughly textured bark, to the tips of the branches that reach expansively to the sky. Feel the energy coursing through the whole tree – its life-giving vitality and strength. Did you know that trees communicate with each other? A tree will send nourishing energy to another tree that is ailing or dying, supporting it and keeping it fed. If you have houseplants, have you noticed how a plant will grow toward another plant? Its leaves or branches seem to reach out to touch its nearby companion.
You may feel your connection to earth is stronger when you focus on the tree’s root system or feel your heart space expand as you connect to the whole tree. You may want to ask the tree to share its knowledge with you or simply ask it to assist with healing yourself or others. Use all your senses. See how the sun plays through the branches in a light breeze. Listen to the wind rustling the leaves gently. Touch the trunk and feel the tree’s strength beneath your fingers. Inhale its scent. Let its quiet power settle you as your daily cares fade into the background. When you feel ready to end your connection to the tree, honor it for its presence and thank it for being willing to engage with you.
If you have no trees in your area, don’t worry, you can connect to a flower or a plant. Aloe is well known for its healing powers and many have good experiences connecting to it. It is receptive and easy to connect with. You can also connect with a tree or plant from a distance if you cannot physically be with it.
Just like us, different types of trees have different properties and offer varied gifts of healing. Here are some examples.
- Willows, with their lovely drooping cascade of greenery, love water and may grow close to rivers or lakes or streams.
- Pines provide beauty all year long with deep green branches and symmetrical shape. There are many varieties of evergreens. Inhaling the heady scent of pine can provide clarity.
- Elm trees are synonymous with life cycles, transition, birth, and death. There are many species of elm but most have a strong trunk and branches that extend with a riot of leaves much like a child’s drawing.
- Oak symbolizes wisdom, knowledge, and strength. They grow to be very tall and reach an impressive size. Acorns provide food for squirrels and chipmunks.
- Birch is both beautiful and mystical. It is associated with the balance between the physical realm and other realms.
- Elder – Long known for its protective, immunity-boosting properties, the elder tree offers its berry which issued extensively in herbal medicine. Elders are considered portals and attract butterflies and beetles and some say fairies.
What trees are common in your area?
You can learn a great deal about a tree. Many trees have been standing for hundreds of years. What would they have witnessed over that time? Can you imagine that your ancestors may have stood before the oldest tree on your land or walked the same path through the forest as you are today? What would like have been like looking at it through their eyes. Have the same trees you see been standing protectively watching over those who have come before you?
Once you embark (a little pun) on a practice of healing and communicating with trees, you will have opened a new world of opportunities for spiritual growth and knowledge.
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Patti Deschaine is a traditionally trained Usui Reiki Master, Lightarian Reiki Master, and owner of Maja Energy Works and Reiki Healing. She resides and practices in Wilmington, NC. She enjoys all types of Reiki and particularly loves using Reiki on animals. Patti can be found at http://