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Posts Tagged ‘Tree’

Tree as Vajra

‘Vajra’ means ‘ thunderbolt’ or ‘diamond sceptre’. ‘Vajra’ is the Indian Sanskrit name. In Tibet it is known as a ‘dorje’. Like many of the symbols of Tibetan Buddhism, it has a long lineage. It probably derives from the attribute and weapon of the early Indian sky and storm god, Indra, the primary deity of ancient Indian peoples. Like the ‘phurba’ or ‘iron nail’ it has precedents in shamanic practice for dispelling and controlling spirits.

The vajra is the symbol of the emergence of the universe. It clearly echoes the form of a tree. The central point of the vajra is the sphere, symbol of the primordial creative void, the true nature and source of both emptiness and form. This is the seed or the heart (the core or the trunk) of the Tree of the Universe.

From here arises the first manifestations of energy: the primal elements and their interactions. This is where the trunk begins to divide into separate boughs and roots.

Next, the vajra expands further into clearly separate parts, the spokes or tines, each dividing into apparently distinct entities and individualities in time and space. These qualities of time and space come about through the apparent separation of form and emptiness – represented in the vajra by the alternating bands of metal.

The enclosed space within these tines echo the shape of the original, central sphere – the true nature of all apparent manifestation is that nothing other than this exists. This void is recapitulated as each tine returns to unite in a final point where all individuality and difference merge together once more.
The branches and roots of the tree spread out from the point of origin, yet in terms of both electromagnetic energy patterns, movements of the water cycle and other natural processes within the tree, the divergent manifestation forms a closed circuit of energy, a continual return to the source and then further outward expansion.

The universal balancing harmony of the vajra shape, together with its dynamic, wrathful, feel make it a powerful symbol for protection and unity. We can develop a visualisation process that mimics and manifests the energy of tree as vajra within our own energy fields.
This has a spontaneously balancing and purifying effect.

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TREE VAJRA VISUALISATION

It is not so important where you ‘place’ this visualisation. It may be clearly superimposed upon or within your own body, or it may be easier to see it just within your mind. Do what feels easiest at first, and with familiarity integrate the imagery more clearly within your sense of body, time and space.

2. It will always be more anchoring to begin with an actual tree. One that is present, or one that you know well.

3. In these exercises it will always be better to visualise yourself with a luminous egg-shaped energy surrounding and containing your physical form. Seeing yourself simply as that luminous form with no physical characteristics is sufficient, and may be easier to imagine that seeing “yourself’. Such an image allows the experience of more subtle levels of sense information and a clearer interaction with other levels of awareness.

4. Form an idea or image of the tree you feel you can work with, ( one that seems appropriate, or one that comes to mind as you begin to settle down).

5. In your energy form, consciously move closer towards the tree until you find at a certain distance you begin to enter the atmosphere or awareness of the tree itself.

6. At this place, pause, and greet the tree energy, asking permission to continue with the exercise. (if there is a clear refusal, you may need to work with a different tree energy or centre and ground yourself some more).

7. Move towards the tree until you pass through and into the trunk. Stay still and integrate with the feelings.

8. Become aware not just the trunk where you are, but also the boughs and branches way above your head, and the roots spreading deep beneath your feet.

9. Upon this, superimpose an image of a clear, bright, white vajra, with one end in the topmost branches and the other going to the deepest roots. You will see yourself more or less positioned at the centre of the vajra.

10. Now reduce the size of the vajra so that it is wholly within your body. Take it down to the size that fits inside one of the main chakras ( allow it to go to whichever one it chooses, heart or solar plexus will be most likely).

11. Now enlarge the vajra again so that it reaches from the crown chakra, just above the top of the head, to the Earth Star about a metre below your feet. Maintain this image for a while.

12. Next reduce the vajra size a little so that its two ends are at the crown and the root chakra. Now rapidly expand the vajra, or sense that it grows in size, moving both up and down to fill the whole of the tree once again.

13. Allow any precise imaginings to dissolve. Simply rest in the space of the tree and vajra energy. Let any communication with the tree spirit or any healing, purifying and balancing processes take place now.

14. When you are ready, become aware of your body again within the tree.

15. Imagine yourself leaving the tree trunk, walking out into the world again. At the tree boundary, turn and say thank you. Return to your normal focus.

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This is the first of a series of related meditation exercises that were created and presented in Japan last month. It can be done very quickly, or it can be made into a main practice. It will be especially useful for those who feel out of balance or struggling with aspects of their environment they find challenging and difficult.

WALKING INTO A TREE (PURE EMPTINESS TREE)

Emptiness presents no resistance, no opposition. Everything flows through freely and maximum harmony is maintained.

1. It will always be more anchoring to begin with an actual tree. One that is present, or one that you know well.

2. Form an idea or image of the tree you feel you can work with, ( one that seems appropriate, or one that comes to mind as you begin to settle down).

3. In your energy form, consciously move closer towards the tree until you find at a certain distance you begin to enter the atmosphere or awareness of the tree itself.

4. At this place, pause, and greet the tree energy, asking permission to continue with the exercise. (if there is a clear refusal, you may need to work with a different tree energy or centre and ground yourself some more).

5. Move towards the tree until you pass through and into the trunk. Stay still and integrate with the feelings.

6. Become aware of the edge of the tree trunk, where the living cells are. Be aware of the quiet central spaces of the trunk of the tree. Visualise these as a large, hollow space. Allow your own body boundaries and aura and those of the tree to become the same, so you are just aware of an inner space with edges at the outer boundary.

7. Now imagine from above the top of the tree, open to the universe, that the energy of space, the element of akasha, flows down into your energy tube, swirling and flowing with indigo and starlight. Feel the expansive,opening energy sweep through your whole being from top to bottom, from head to foot, from branches to roots. When it has filled your inner space allow it to concentrate at the outermost boundary, as if forming a new layer of tree bark. See it as a layer of intense indigo, or midnight blue.

8. Now return your attention back up to the top of the tree, open to the universe. See a refreshing flow of air, of wind, of breezes, with a vibrant green colour, sweep down filling and cleansing all the inner space, sweeping away all imbalances. Fill your inner space completely and the see the green energy of air concentrate at the outer boundary, on the inside of the indigo layer of akasha.

9. Return your attention to the upper end of your hollow awareness tree and see a forceful white flow of water rush downwards bringing clarity and openness. See that energy sweep round and cleanse every part of your inner space. Then see it concentrate in a layer of white energy on the inside of the green layer of air.

10. Return your attention to the upper end of your hollow awareness tree and now see a downward rush of fire, a tumble and roar of flames, red in colour, fierce and powerful. See it purifying, transforming, consuming all imbalances. See the red flames fill the whole of your inner space, then let it concentrate as a layer of vibrant red colour on the inside of the white layer of water.

11. Return your awareness to the upper end of your hollow tree awareness and see it fill with a deep, rich yellow of the element of earth. See that clean, nurturing energy fill all your inner spaces, settling and repairing, reestablishing order and harmony. Finally, let the energy of the earth element flow out to form and concentrate as a layer of vibrant yellow on the inside of the red layer of fire.

12. Focus for a moment on the five protective layers that form the boundary of your hollow tree awareness. Then relax and let the imagery fade. You are now just standing within the tree again.

13. Imagine leaving the tree, walk out into the world. Turn and thank the tree for its kindness and support. Return to normal awareness.

—–

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Complete Rootedness

This can be very useful when there is a sense of dislocation in our energy – such as too much head activity or when grounding is difficult because of strong thoughts or emotions.

Begin by taking a moment to relax body and breath.

Allow awareness to follow the gentle pull of gravity.

Allow the roots of your awareness to expand from all parts of your body.

First, feel the roots of energy grow and spread from your toes and feet. When this process is underway, move your attention up the body.

Allow the roots to descend from the base of your spine. Really feel your awareness root into the ground as if it were a continuation of your physical blood and nerves.

Feel the weight of your fingers and arms. Roots of awareness and secure, grounded energy grow from them, down and out into the earth.

Feel your chest and back expand and contract as you breathe. Roots shoot from them simultaneously and lock your energy deeply into the ground.

Now roots of energy awareness spread over your head and from all your senses. You can feel them expand outwards into the earth from your ears, from your eyes, from your tongue, from your mouth and from the very top of your head.

Awareness from the whole of your body now extends and reaches down and around to create a total rootedness and groundedness to the earth.

Take time to focus on those parts where it seems more difficult to visualise the roots extending outwards.

When you are ready, gently allow the visualisation to fade and bring yourself back to your physical body.

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Tree: Roots and Branches.

This simple visualisation allows grounding and centring before then opening up awareness to more universal types of energy.

Begin by relaxing your body. Allow awareness to sink downwards to your contact with the ground.

Extend your awareness beyond the physical body to make searching roots that spread deeper and wider with each exhalation. Continue this process until you feel really secure and well-rooted.

Now with the intent to hold that sense of rootedness, focus on the top of your head. Feel the energy of the sun and the vast spaciousness of the universe gently drawing up your energy. Mould that expanding energy into the form of boughs and branches, growing in an ever-widening dome upwards and outwards.

Once you have a clear sense of these spreading branches, see if you can maintain in your awareness both the root system below your feet and the branches above your head. If it helps, you can visualise your body as the tree trunk holding in place and focusing the energy of root and branch.

When the imagery is comfortable and stable begin to sense and integrate the energies that each outgrowth of your awareness is receiving and releasing into its surroundings.

When it is time to stop, allow the imagery to fade and sit still to integrate the experience before resuming normal activity.

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(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.

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(silver firs)

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BAY TREE SPIRIT:

“If you wonder whether the thoughts you are having are at all the influence of the tree in front of you, or simply your own thoughts, then consider this: Why do you consider that your thoughts at any other time belong to you?

Why not accept the possibility that your mind is like a radio or a mirror – just reflecting those signals, taking up the images that are within your vicinity.

Then the flavour of the thoughts can be recognised as significant. There is awareness of difference, and in this way thought becomes a sense like seeing, hearing or feeling.

A thought is like a sound ; neither right nor wrong, accurate or inaccurate. Only your degree of awareness or lack of awareness gives the experience meaning or significance. “

 

 

 

 

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Mirror Body  – Duel Nature

The tree’s experience is very different from most other life-forms on earth. It exists simultaneously in two different environments. The root experience is completely different from the branch experience. The consciousness of root/earth and branch/air can be seen as a variation of unconscious or subconscious root and conscious awareness of the branch. If one were to contact the energy of the ‘root’ it would probably be a different form of energy and experience to ‘branch’. So there may be at least these levels of being or personality or character: firstly the physical body in its entirety; secondly, the root as an inward-looking, stable unconscious; thirdly, the branch as an outward-looking, reaching, reactive conscious.

To approach the experience of this duel aspect of the tree consciousness, try the following:

Stand or sit and become aware of your body’s weight.

Take your attention to the bottom of the feet.

Let your awareness sink below your feet as a mirror image of yourself as it were, attached to your feet.

Extend your awareness so that it can simultaneously hold both your body and the mirror body images at the same time. This may initially be vague or disorienting.

Take your attention to specific parts of the body. Start with the soles of the feet – in physical, then in mirror body; the knees; the hips; the navel; the solar plexus; the hands; the shoulders; the top of the head.

Once you are more used to this swapping of focus, see if you can maintain simultaneous awareness in reflected spots, and then return to an overall view of yourself as both bodies.

When the exercise is completed, dissolve the image and spend a moment getting re-acquainted with the physical body.

(from”Tree: Essence, Spirit, Teacher”  p.49- 50)

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