Category: Extended local perception.
No previous training required.
Profanely called ‘tree hugging’, this is a classic exercise, and a good one, because there is no lack of trees and no other people are needed.
Please do not just traipse up to a tree and hug it. Just because trees don’t run around doesn’t mean that they are not beings. Indeed they are not inanimate ‘things’, they are beings; some but not all, self-aware. Either way, please treat them with appropriate respect. So walk around (the park, the forest, wherever) until you feel an attraction (that’s the first part of the exercise). This is important because trees are just as individual in their characters as people. Make experiences with different trees, of different character and energy structures.
Once the walking around has allowed you to come down from the normal stress level of daily life, only then does the ‘tree’ part of the exercise begin. When you feel slower and more open, be open to the attraction I mentioned. It does not have to be an attraction to ‘nice vibes’. It could be to a tree with amazing heavenly connections, or one rooted deep in the earth, or perhaps one which is shielding a part of the forest from unwelcome energies through its own intention. Notice the gender of the trees.
As you respectfully move slowly towards a tree, notice the change in your own background feeling – do you become quiet, excited, happy, sad, empty, rooted, more open to cosmic energies? Something will happen, since trees have an energy field, or aura, of their own, just like humans. In proximity to the tree your own aura and that of the tree will already be interacting. This then is already the next phase of this exercise – to notice this subtle interaction.
Finally, if and only if it feels good and right, make physical contact with the tree. Normally this will be in the form of gently resting your hand on its bark – and again feeling how your internal mood or state is influenced by the contact.
I really can’t emphasise this point enough: You are not there to treat trees as objects which facilitate your exercise. You are not there to ‘find out about them’ and then say ‘this one is very friendly’ or ‘this one is very shy’. Absolutely not! Rather, we are talking about a relationship between yourself and the tree. Your approach to the tree initiates a two-way process, where the energies and belief patterns of the tree influence you, and yours influence the tree. The tree may or may not like you. Let yourself be surprised – some trees are very friendly, while others can be quite churlish. Approach each tree without preconceptions.
Let’s try and put this in a human context: When you see a person for the first time who you find very attractive, do you just walk up and hug them? No? Then please treat the tree beings with the same respect you would accord to other human beings.
Back to the exercise: If you notice the invitation for it, or at least ‘nothing against’, then you can give the tree a hug, in whatever intensity, form and duration feels right for both of you. When it’s time to detach, do so with thankfulness, respect and well-wishing.