Intimate Relations With a Tree Part One: Tree Reiki

If you are reading this, you're probably a biophile - a lover of nature. You take nature as your lover, or you'd like to. 

Love, mutual attraction is the force that holds the natural world together. Nature loves nature. And since we humans are part of nature, we love it. Deeply. When I slow down and take the time to connect consciously, sensually, and mindfully with nature, I feel healed. Complete. Re-Membered. 

Discovering and maintaining natural connections is what my work is about.

The more I witness, appreciate, and love "all my relations" — the more natural, healthy and calm I become.

I think of my relationship with trees and plants.

Every breath I take is the exhale from photosynthesizing plants, algae, grasses, herbs, and trees. And in turn, I exhale CO2 into the mouths and nostrils (stomata) of my green sisters and brothers. That's intimacy. 

• Asking for Permission •

To prepare for a tree breath I first choose a tree to connect with and I approach it. 

I ask Tree and the Earth around Tree if it is OK that I come into the space. I say in my mind or out loud something like "Tree, may I stand with you?". I wait for an answer. Usually it comes as a feeling. If I feel an invitation,  I move closer, stopping at the outside edge of Tree's energy-field/aura. If not, I move along and ask another tree until I find the right one.

• Tree Reiki •

At the boundary of Tree's energy field I look up and marvel at the mixture of sun, shadow, leaf, needle, branches that make up the crown - the food factory and I imagine all of the fluids, sugars, hormones that are being created and pulsing through the intricate, sprawling vasculature. I close my eyes and imagine the gentle and constant cascade of Oxygen from thousands of stomata - tree mouths exhaling sometimes hundreds of feet above my head. I do my best to really SEE the oxygen molecules coming down - their substance - their mass. They have some. Not much, but some.

I move closer and break across Tree's auric boundary which might extend out from the trunk ten to fifteen feet. I walk to within a few inches.

I hover my hands a quarter inch from the trunk. 

I soften my palms, making them receptive. They are a source-point for the energy exchange between us. I feel my feet, grounding all four corners. 

I focus on the arches of my feet and feel bolts of energy coming out of them into Earth. I am rooted. A flow of energy comes from Earth and moves into me - Earth energy coming up into my feet and out through my palms, bridging the quarter inch gap between me and Tree. I'm plugged in. I maintain attention on my palms and arches. I maintain balance through all four corners. 

Inhale. Exhale.

I check-in with my knees and make sure they are slightly bent. Locked knees obstruct the flow of energy from Earth. Slightly bent knees are best as they keep the channel open. 

You can experiment with hovering your hands over different parts of the tree and in different positions to find the spot where you feel most plugged-in. 

Open your Heart. 

Feel it. Bring your attention to the center of your chest - the location of the Heart Chakra at the sternum. Feel the energy exchange there. Slow your breathing to at least a four count inhale and a four count exhale. Pranayama. Slower the better, pausing at the top of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale. Perfect. 

That's tree Reiki. Stay here for as long as feels comfortable— pay attention to palms, arches, slightly bent knees, all four corners of feet grounded. Always returning to the breath. Breathe consciously and slowly as you begin to approximate the much slower respiration rate of Earth. 


You can come home again.