When you walk mindfully in the forest, especially among ancient trees, you can let go of thoughts, distractions, and stories that crowd your mind in daily life. Don’t those often harass until you feel hunted by your own thoughts? Instead, come to a park. Trees can be your friends, to let go of that noisy crowd. As silence enters, you arrive at a deep healing peace.
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment. It doesn’t mean necessarily to sit in a meditation pose. It can also happen while walking.
Mindful walking with trees
Walk on the path between the trees. Be aware of the sensation of each foot as it hits the ground, the bend of your hip, knee and ankle, the slight breeze against your face, hear the sweet bird calls above your head. Walk until you feel called to go deep within. In the company of trees, you can be present as they raise their leafy branches high, reaching for the bright sun. You can enter into stillness as they reach their roots deep into the earth.
When we attune to trees, we can imagine becoming one with them. We too can reach up to the light as if in praise. Send roots deep into the Earth, as we draw in stillness. We can become both rooted and inspired; nourished and radiant. Even while walking.
This is the start of profound healing.
Trees that teach
Today I walked in Tryon Creek State Park with a friend. The first tree that spoke gently allowed each of us to go deeper, to gain insight, to know that we were walking the right path. It is one of many trees that are teachers in Tryon Creek State Park. We called it the Welcoming Tree. This gentle tree, nestled among the brilliant green understory seems modestly understated. Yet it is a profound Teacher and Healer.
Trees that heal
Further down the trail, we came around a corner into brilliant sun. But what took my breath away was is the awareness of a great Presence. I had to look for the source of this blast of joy. Found it in this tree (below). This tree blessed each of us, with a downpour of heartfelt grace. We called it the Initiation Tree. We saw that two parts of the tree had already broken off and are entering into a state of decay, to feed other lifeforms. Meanwhile, the remaining tree is still alive and its roots spread nourishment into neighboring trees, preparing the next generation. It only knows how to bless.
Trees that listen
These trees I discovered last week. They have roots that invite you to sit and meditate. These trees will listen to any remaining thoughts that are bothering you. Until the thoughts are complete. And you are at peace. Meanwhile you have found some new tree friends!