Sacred Mountain Retreat

The Blessing Pressence of Trees

by Virochana May, 2015

Shantara Embracing a Kauri Tree in Northland of New Zealand

Shantara Embracing a Kauri Tree in Northland of New Zealand (photo by Virochana)

What would life be like without trees? They nourish and soothe us, give companionship and beauty, and so much more.

In the words of Yeshe Tsogyal, “Trees are the lungs of the earth.” But she was not talking just about an oxygen cycle, rather how they are like antenna grounding cosmic energy into our environment.

Every once in a while someone asks if trees have souls, do they have feelings, can they communicate? In this post I would like to share some of my experiences, and perhaps you can add yours.

Shantara in Fern Forest in Urewwra Mountains of New Zealand

Shantara in Fern Forest in Urewera Mountains of New Zealand (photo by Virochana)

Trees are very transparent to the subtle nature realms and thus have a great potential, and they have characteristics. But for the most part it requires a yang consciousness, such as yours, to bring it into a cognition. If you feel pain, a tree can feel pain (but not in the same context). When you are happy, trees can add to that happiness. So like everything in life, it is a relationship.

For those who have walked within an old-growth forest, I would think it hard not to feel the magic. Through a long cultivation of nectar, some trees can become independently aware. I would like to share a couple experiences along this line.

Once in 1995 while walking through a forest (not on a trail) in New Mexico, I came across a tree spirit. Now this is a subtle form, but I could see it with my regular eyes. The tree spirit, taller than us, was walking through the forest, and had projected itself free of the tree where it lives as the tree.

For those living with the redwoods, can you not feel their majesty? Many times in other places I have communed with conscious trees, not in words, but understanding, in particular in New Zealand such as around Lake Rotopanamu and in some of the wilderness areas.

However there was one large Puriri tree on the way to Cathedral Cove near Hahei that we would frequently sit and meditate with before the area became a popular tourist attraction. This tree has seen much come and go, and he shared his wisdom with us, some of which was very helpful. The spirit of this tree lived as a small blue flame maybe twenty feet down into the earth, and he was a real friend.

Shantara in Fern Forest in Urewwra Mountains of New Zealand

The Puri Tree

Now this area is an extremely sacred temple going back much further than historians realize, as todays culture is not fluent with the understanding that there is more than the physical and some people could travel way before jet airplanes. We were so upset at what the tourist industry was doing to this place that for a number of years we could not even visit it. So some time passed and coming back into New Zealand we looked forward to meeting our old friend again. But while driving to the area I began to feel that something was horribly wrong, and as we started to walk on the trail about 10 minutes from the tree, I knew it was. When we got there, the tree was dying and most of it had been cut back. These are large trees with magnificent canopies that can live for thousands of years. I felt very sad and tried to hide my tears.

I sat down and summoned my friend, the tree spirit, and he reminded me of a prophecy made millennia ago. He had previously shared this over a decade earlier that as a sign of the coming degenerate times, he would leave (die in the form of that tree). A tree, like all of us, is not separate from its environment. The conditions were no longer right for his cultivation or consciousness, but he did still visit to help many younger tree spirits in steps towards their awareness, one of who would inhabit the remains of his old body.

Dhaya hugging a tree from the tiem of Lau Tzu in China

Dhaya hugging a tree from the time of Lau Tzu

A tree spirit can take thousands of years to cultivate its nectars to a certain point of spiritual evolvement, such as the old kauris. Imagine people cutting down whole forest of trees that are 30 to 50 feet in circumference and that have lived for 2 to 3, even 4000 years or more, without even batting an eyelash.

I met a slightly fierce, but beautiful tree spirit on the shores of Lake Rotopanamu (jade lake) who had moved a few hundred feet away from the lake, and thus the trail around it, into another tree. His energy had taken on a distinctly Maori flavor.

Yogis and yoginis of all cultures have developed companionship and interrelationship with trees through the centuries, but today there is not much relationship. When the trees go, so does a part of us and our earth. Let us all learn sacredness and enjoy this space together in joy!

Go hug a tree!

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