From the book 'Tree Wisdom' by Vincent Karche
“Trees teach us about breathing. They continually produce oxygen, so they teach us about rejuvenation and about our perception of ourselves. They help us feel stronger, while remaining peaceful … Trees don't just give us fresh air; they give and give and give. Trees reassure us. They protect us. They allow us to play, to escape and to be consciously alone. This helps us connect to ourselves and to other people.”
When you are out walking in the woods or in a park, choose a tree. It doesn't matter what it's like – it can be large or small, young or old. Just choose the tree you feel most dawn to.
Walk over to the tree. Stand facing it, a few metres away from its trunk, making sure you can see it from top to bottom.
Greet the tree and ask permission to do this exercise with it.
Now, without taking your eyes off the tree, anchor yourself in the earth. Place your feet shoulder width apart, then spread the soles of your feet on the earth. Ground yourself there.
Next, feel your breath entering and leaving your body. Become aware of the interior of your nostrils. Become aware of the coolness of your in-breath and the warmth of your out-breath. Notice that your breathing happens effortlessly. Observe it.
Once the rhythm is established, feel roots growing down from your feet into the earth each time you exhale.
Each time you inhale, feel energy flowing up through your roots and filling your body.
Allow your roots to grow, to expand, to dig more deeply into the earth. Let the tree be your guide. Let the tree's roots touch yours; let them intertwine. Feel them anchoring you more fully with every exhalation. Your roots may go down so deeply that you feel as if you have reached the centre of the earth.
Be with all of this for a few moments and just feel where you are. Feel the tree. Feel your connection with yourself and with the tree. Feel the connection between earth and sky. Feel the abundance flowing through you.
Let yourself feel this for as long as you want. Then, when you feel the exercise is finished, thank the tree by giving it a hug.