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Posts Tagged ‘metaphysics’

Downloading

hazel coppice

The message
of the great trees
is communicated from within
and by means of
their great silence.

If you have a wish
To communicate with
The spirits of trees
Then go with a willing
Quietness.

Take time
Just to be
In the presence
And receive packets of information
For later unravelling and
Investigation.

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silver birch2a copy

Birch Breath

“Bone white
birth reveals
all in beauty.”

The birch is amongst the most graceful of trees. Its white bark and long elegant boughs, often with down-swept branches, make it easy to see from a distance wherever it might be growing. Birch is a pioneer tree inhabiting the poor, rocky soils of heath land and lower mountainside. Living on the edges of the inhabited world of man it is easy to associate the tree with the spirits of the wild, particularly female lunar and fertility deities. In keeping with its character as a liminal dweller on thresholds the birch carries associations that appear contradictory but elucidate its significant role and symbolism.

The ghostly white bark represents both light and life- the power of life to conquer and regenerate, to give birth and flourish – and also of the cold, lifeless bones of the dead, the dwellers of the Otherworld and the ancestors. In the Scottish Highlands the birch is sometimes seen as a benevolent female spirit, a dangerous, devouring witch or a home for the spirits of dead girls. This symbolism may well reflect an ancient association with the Great Goddess, whose aspects included the nurturing fertile Mother at the same time as the ravening destructive force of War and Destruction. She is the Mother who goes to all lengths to protect her offspring from harm.

The name ‘birch’ derives from the same Indo-European root words as ‘light’, ‘shining’, ‘bright’. But birch also shows that all beauty is balance, for the white purity of the bark splits to reveal black underneath. There is no birth without death, no light without darkness, no beginning that is not also an ending. We cannot rest our eyes on true beauty until we accept the whole interaction of life with death, until we stop favouring, stop judging, stop comparing. The oldest traditions of the Great Mother are uncompromising in their clarity. All aspects of human experience, good and bad, are manifest in Her forms and faces. There is no possibility of compromise with human frailties or wishful thinking if we want to attain a true state of clear, birch-like awareness.

Breath:
Breathing in through the solar plexus.
Breathing out, imagining the breath swirling around the inner walls of the body(as liquid swirls around a vessel).

Tea: All parts are useful, including the rising sap in early spring which can be tapped to make an excellent wine. The bark is diuretic and laxative. The leaves are high in potassium so taken together with the bark can prevent the sodium-potassium imbalance that can occur when taking other diuretics. Both the leaves and the sap are anti-inflammatory and are useful for arthritic conditions and skin irritations like psoriasis. The buds can be used in cases of cystitis (the alkalising effects of potassium helpful here as well).

birch boughs

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THREE QUESTIONS: THREE TRIADS

What is tree spirit healing?
A reminder of wholeness.
A reminder of belonging.
A movement towards balance.

What are the tools of tree spirit healing?
The five senses, the quiet mind,
The open heart of natural stillness.

What are the methods of tree spirit healing?
Walking towards opening doors,
Looking through other windows,
Paying attention.

(Triads are traditional mnenomic method of the British Celts (Welsh). Similar to Hindu and Buddhist sutras, they act as reminders to teachings and evoke deep unconscious responses. They can be obvious, or gnomic and obscure. Triads often come in the form of question and response.)

***

dawn redwood1

(dawn redwood trunk)

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ivy

I have worked with the Ivy Spirit quite a lot recently. It has been one of the main plants to be explored in groups who were starting off learning about Tree Spirit Healing. It has a lively, easily recognisable energy and provides a great support to those who make a good connection to its energy. Here is one way to become a little more familiar.

THE IVY DOORWAY

“Ivy is a plant that behaves like an animal – specifically a snake, which it so obviously resembles. It creeps and wriggles throughout the undergrowth. it wraps itself around tree trunks. A image of the deep forest: mature old trees within a darkened, clean forst floor. As though in a time-lapse film nothing much changes except the flicker of day and night, the occassional leaf fluttering down into the humus. And then a movement at the corner of sight: a thin, snake-like tendril wriggles its way into view. It writhes and twists ans scrabbles as though sniffing out something. As time flickers on, the tendril thickens to become python thick; aerial roots, like legs, support and stabilise; new tendrils spread outwards across the floor searching more of that essentil food: light. Soon a wave of ivy, a tide of shiny green, is washing up the tree trunks and as time flickers forward the main Ivy Snake wriggles on out of sight, deeper into the forest silence.

“Ivy is a tree that moves, a vegetal snake, a green sea of leaves. It can become a gatekeeper and a useful guide…..

“unless you travel via the intermediary of Ivy or some other, similar tree spirit, it is not easy to gain access to the deeper levels of Tree Wisdom that is the Deep Forest….

” The serpent, the wise snake, is the ivy that lives in the duality of dark and light, summer and winter, intoxication and sobriety, life and death. Only a teacher who has travelled every possible path can know every step of the way and be for us a safe guide.”

(from “Tree: Essence, Spirit and Teacher”)

The Ivy Doorway is a process that combines chant and vision.

What is needed: a black and white image on card or thick paper.

1) First, create an image of a doorway with a semicircular arch, within which is silhouetted a large five-pointed ivy leaf. The archway is black and the leaf is white.

2) Position the image so that it is slightly above your eye level, but that causes you no strain to keep it in easy view.

3) Have a clear intention: ‘to open the Tree Doorways’ and then gaze easily at the image whilst chanting or mentally repeating the Ivy mantra:

KI JAA OH TRRRI

KI JAA OH TRRRI

…..

…..

4) When your eyes tire, simply close them for a while and continue with an internal visualisation of the image.

5) A time will naturally come when you feel a shift of awareness. When this happens simply relax and allow the experience with the Ivy Spirit to unfold.

6) When you feel it time to return to your normal awareness, say thank you for whatever experiences have been brought to you, and bring your awareness back to your body. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes.

ivy spel mat words 2

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plane trunk2
(plane tree trunk)

Meditation Tree

All trees help us towards a meditative state. Tree awareness is always connected to the whole. Tree awareness exists in a cyclical or spiral time. Human awareness exists in a linearity of past – present – future. We think at this linear level: evaluating past memory or projecting into the future. The present doesn’t hold our attention in the same way. Perception of the present becomes memory or speculation by habit rather than of necessity.

Tree awareness is held in the present, so requires no thought process (or not like ours). When we contact a tree energy we absorb some quality of tree consciousness and so find it easier to release the habitual linearity of thought. This begins to establish a meditative state. (Each tree will have a different quality or ‘flavour’ depending upon how we interact with its energy.)

Tree awareness is concentric and 360 degrees. Individual awareness is the centre of a circle of energetic liveliness that also includes many other circles of awareness. A tree’s individual awareness is not experienced as separate from the circle around it, but as a denser focus of peculiar factors of view and form. The self (I) cannot have the same meaning where there is no spatial movement or change of view. As humans, we are always in a state of physically changing relationships with our environments. We have therefore to be constantly self-referring to know where we are and what we are doing. A tree exists in one place and has less differentiated parts (organs etc.) so there is not the same need to be self-conscious. More of the awareness can be directed outwards towards the circle’s circumference. It is an inclusive awareness rather than a human’s exclusive awareness. Entering into tree spirit awareness, we experience a change in metabolism – things slow down, the body relaxes, loses track of its position, sense of time changes, thoughts continue but do not distract us from an underlying, non-verbal vibration of energy, sometimes experienced as bliss or sound or light. Buddha knew what he was doing sitting under a tree – not just for shade, but for the connection to wholeness of life.

silver firs
(silver firs)

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gorse spray
(gorse flowers, now beginning to get a full spring polish on themselves)

A USEFUL PLACE

 

(A stance useful to bring to mind before all Tree Spirit Healing work)

 

1

Nothing in creation is isolated or alone. Every being is part of a seamless web of energy that flows, transmutes and modifies itself in the maintenance of dynamic balance.

 

Illness and disease arise when the systems of the body cannot locate the necessary information or energy for self-repair. Any method of healing simply helps the body to find what it requires for wellness.

 

Trees and other plants have always been our primary healers, and continue to be so today. They physically sustain us by balancing environmental factors (temperature, humidity, wind, the constituents of both the air and the earth), and their spiritual presence brings stability and equilibrium to all around them.

 

Trees, by their effortless balance, remind us of the calm spaciousness of our natural awareness, connected to the seamless flow of existence. Each tree species demonstrates a particular way of achieving balance so that, by linking to them in a very specific sequence a state of disorderliness, chaos and suffering can be alleviated within us.

 

2

Getting oneself into an appropriate frame of mind speeds the effectiveness of the healing and allows for clearer experiences. Becoming aware of our connection with the world, acknowledging that we cannot always do everything by our own efforts, allowing help to be offered and to be accepted, all soften up the brittle boundaries that are often put in place in an attempt to keep ourselves safe, but that really only isolate us further from a solution to our pains. Use those preliminary processes that feel most comfortable for you.

 

Take a moment to turn your attention to the breath. You do not need to change your breathing in any way – simply pay attention to the movement of air in and out of your lungs. This in itself will steady and calm both the body and the mind. If you find that there is some turbulence, open your mouth slightly and breathe through it. If you put your attention on the soft palette at the back of the mouth you will notice that, as you breathe in, the air feels cool there, but on the out-breath, there is no sensation. Simply stay with this experience for a moment or two until you feel calmer.

 

Imagine that you exist as a wave on an ocean of infinite waves, each unique and distinct from each other. Allow your attention to move away from the experience, sinking downwards towards the depths of the ocean. As you descend, your sense of self changes, expanding, becoming more aware of the unseen deep currents, and of other perspectives, other ways of being. You are still yourself, but more integrated with others, able to exchange information and energy easily. Stay at these deep levels until you feel calm and alert.

 

Take your attention to each of your senses in turn. Feel how your body is resting, where it is relaxed, where it is in tension. Adjust yourself so that you become more comfortable. As you breathe in, be aware of the scents and aromas around you, the temperature and feel of the air. Allow your eyes to relax, rest them where they are, just gazing at whatever you are looking at. Simply allow what you see to enter the eyes without the need to focus on anything in particular or to think about what is there. Now what sounds are you hearing? Open your hearing in the same way that you opened your sight. Simply let whatever sounds there are to register in your mind without focusing or dwelling on any of them. When you become aware of thoughts, treat them in exactly the same way – let them come and go on their own, simply keeping your awareness open and spacious.

 

3

The invitation.

 

Asking for help is acknowledging that no one is alone, that life flows from one being to another in an endless flow, that what is required is available when one knows where to look. So, open to ask for assistance from the tree spirits in some simple way. Use the feeling in your heart to simply call for help, or give a simple gesture like a bowing of the head or an opening out of the hands. Then wait for a moment or two before beginning the healing.

 

japanese camelia essence3

(Japanese camellia)

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Tree Consciousness – on Silence.

Attaining a degree of silence is essential to any work with trees and tree spirits, ( in fact, with any work on subtle and meditative levels).

Silence, though, is not a reduction, not a shutting down or shutting out, not a restriction of thought, nor of the senses, the actions or the passions.

Silence is an opening out in order to include what appears not to be sound, what appears not to be self, what appears not to be sensation.

Silence happens with inclusiveness of what is not perceived. Thoughts don’t stop, feelings don’t stop, nothing changes. Except there is an addition in the self-awareness that all is occurring within a field existing beyond any object or percept.

We habitually seek out things, objects, names, identifiers. These are all in the foreground. Silence occurs when we also notice the background, the field within which our percepts reside.

When we stand in front of a tree, we need to see the tree behind the tree, the tree between the tree, the tree and the non-tree.

When we stand in front of the mind, we need to see the mind behind the mind, the mind between the mind, the mind that is the non-mind.

What is the non-tree? What is the non-mind? They are the silence that arises when we pay attention to what is not there, as well as to what is perceived as there.

Most, if not all, of the Tree Teacher Techniques in Tree Spirit Healing are ways to bring this silence to our awareness, either directly or indirectly. The next few posts will describe some of them. Beginning with Gazing.

20130214-215149.jpg

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